On Jan. 18, the nation's highest court turned down a challenge spearheaded by Bishop Harry Jackson, who requested a measure to be placed on Washington, D.C., ballots that would allow residents to vote on the definition of marriage. According to The Associated Press, the Supreme Court did not comment on its decision.
The lawsuit worked its way up to the high court after D.C.'s Board of Elections ruled that a ballot question regarding the requirements for marriage would authorize discrimination. In 2010, the district began issuing marriage licenses for gay couples, and in 2009 it began recognizing same-sex marriages that had been performed elsewhere.
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Iowa and the District of Columbia allow gay marriages, while New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Rhode Island recognize marriages performed in other jurisdictions.
However, lawmakers are pushing to legalize gay marriage in the Empire State, according to the New York Daily News. State Senator Thomas Duane (D-Manhattan) said that he will introduce legislation to legalize the practice "within weeks," and he will push for a vote by the end of June.
A similar bill was introduced and soundly defeated by the State Senate in 2009, but proponents of equal rights are optimistic that newly-elected Governor Andrew Cuomo, who called for legalization of gay marriage in his State of the State address earlier this month, will help pass the landmark legislation.