New GOP gay-ban tactics
Court powers could be taken away, says majority leader
By Jonathan E. Kaplan
Realizing that a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage faces little chance of passing soon, if ever, House Republicans yesterday discussed alternative approaches, including stripping federal courts of jurisdiction over the issue, passing a federal law to define marriage and using the appropriations process to ban gay marriage in Washington.
All the legislative action on gay marriage is currently in the Senate, but the House GOP is rapidly developing its own tactics. Leaders will take their first step next week when they take up Rep. John Hostettler’s (R-Ind.) “jurisdiction stripping” bill. This would bar federal courts from hearing lawsuits related to gay sex and marriage.
While the House will not debate a constitutional amendment before the summer recess, it might take it up when Congress resumes in September.
Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) told reporters yesterday that he plans to use “jurisdiction stripping” measures to achieve other social policy goals as well.