Strike up the band! Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), one of the worst homophobes in the U.S. House of Representatives and a frequent meddler in D.C. affairs, announced today that he will not seek re-election. (Update on April 20: Word is that he may resign as soon as tomorrow. I will avoid speculating as to why the rush.) In early 2010, he introduced a bill to block the District’s marriage equality law. Prior to that, he co-sponsored a so-called “D.C. DOMA” bill. Happily, those efforts went nowhere. After the GOP regained control of the House, he became more of a threat as chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Ward 6 D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen issued the following statement:
This is great news for everyone in DC who was frustrated with Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s attempts to block and change local DC laws from his perch in congress. But it doesn’t change the bigger picture – another congressional representative from somewhere else in America will assume the committee chair and have the same ability to interfere with locally passed laws by locally elected representatives. DC residents will remain committed to stopping Congressional meddling and are serious about saying Hands Off DC.
GLAA President Guillaume Bagal comments:
GLAA is grateful that Rep. Chaffetz will no longer be in the committee chair position, where his actions could harm residents of our District, and undermine progress being made on LGBTQ and women healthcare rights. His blatant intrusion into our District’s affairs, including the Death with Dignity Act, which GLAA supported, was an attack on our city’s progressive values. However, we are prepared for a like-minded representative to take his place, and are committed to working with our allies and local government officials to safeguard the rights of our community.