Pelosi to Boehner: Defending DOMA a Waste
Fresh off the back of yet another federal court ruling that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) has slammed House Speaker Boehner’s defense of the law, saying it is a costly exercise that a majority of the public does not support.
“In rejecting the arguments of the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, the courtís ruling also reaffirmed a core belief of the majority of House Democrats: that the House is not united in this case; that the BLAG lawyers do not speak for Congress; and that BLAGís intervention remains a waste of taxpayer resources.† The court made it clear that there is no legitimate federal interest in denying married gay and lesbian couples the legal security, rights, and responsibilities guaranteed to all married couples under state law.”
U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey S. White, in an opinion released Tuesday, ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which bans federal recognition of same-sex marriage, violates the U.S. Constitution. White, ruling in the case of†Golinski v. United States, concluded: “DOMA, as applied to Ms. Golinski, violates her right to equal protection of the law under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution by,†without substantial justification or rational basis, refusing to recognize her lawful marriage to prevent provision of health insurance coverage to her spouse.”
House lawyers took up defense of DOMA Section 3 after the Obama administration announced in February of last year that it would no longer defend the provision because, after review, it believes the law to be unconstitutional. House Republicans, using their 3-2 majority in the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG),†voted over Democrats to have the House take up defending DOMA.
Last year Boehner increased the amount that could be spent defending DOMA from $500,000 to $1.5 million. The door remains open to further rises and Boehner, despite previous calls from Pelosi,†has repeatedly refused to set a final cap on spending.
BLAG lawyers have been heavily criticized for†misrepresenting†and distorting research to try and support their case against gay marriage. Read more on that here.
Pelosi recently broke with the official Democratic Party line saying she supports adding a call for full marriage equality to the 2012 Democratic Party platform. Read more on that here.