House panel doesn’t go after D.C. marriage law

The Republican-led House Appropriations Committee did the unexpected last Thursday, June 23. It advanced an appropriations bill involving District of Columbia funding without attaching language to repeal the city’s marriage equality law.

For nine years, the appropriations bill for D.C. included language to prohibit the use of federal funds to implement a domestic partnership law passed by the D.C. government in 1992.

The Human Rights Campaign and several other political advocacy groups sent a letter to the Committee on Wednesday urging legislators not to add any amendments relating to social policies to the bill.

The bill for Fiscal Year 2012 reduces the federal government’s contribution to the D.C. government from $699 million in FY 2011 to $637 million for FY 2012. According to the Washington Post, the federal government provides about two percent of the city’s operating budget.

This year’s bill also includes a provision to prevent the use of any federal funds or any D.C. taxpayer funds to provide for women with low incomes to obtain abortions.

The bill, known as the 2012 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, covers a number of agencies, including the Judiciary, the Executive Office of the President, and the Treasury Department. It now goes to the full House where some member could attempt to attach an amendment to undermine the marriage equality law.

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