Democrats Ask Boehner To Back Off His ‘Direct Assault’ On Gay Veterans


Written by Igor Volsky

Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA) and Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) are urging House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to abandon his efforts to defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act in a case involving a disabled Iraq war veteran. That veteran, Tracey Cooper-Harris — is on disability and receiving treatment for PTSD and multiple sclerosis — alleges that by failing to provide spousal benefits to her wife, the Veterans Affairs administration is infringing on her constitutional right to equal protection under the law. DOMA prevents federal agencies from recognizing same-sex relationships and Title 38 of the United States Code defines spouses as a person of the opposite sex.

House Republicans convened the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) to defend the constitutionality of DOMA since the Obama administration announced that it is unconstitutional in February of 2010, but this is the first case in which Beohner is also defending Title 38.

“[W]e strongly object to spending taxpayer money to intervene in this case against a decorated veteran, Tracey Cooper-Harris, and her spouse, Maggie Cooper-Harris,” Pelosi and Hoyer write in their letter. “This decision clearly exceeds the scope of the original BLAG authorization, with which we initially disagreed”:

This intervention once again puts the House of Representatives on the wrong side of the future – supporting discrimination, unfairness, and the denial of basic equality to all Americans. We have objected to prior decisions by the House Republican BLAG members to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to defend discrimination. This latest decision not only ignores the civil rights of LGBT Americans but opens a new, direct assault on veterans. The men and women of our Armed Forces serve with courage and dignity on behalf of our safety and security. They risk their lives for the country they love – and they should not face prejudice at home because of whom they love. These brave soldiers deserve nothing less than our gratitude, our respect, and the benefits they have earned in battle.

Pelosi and Hoyer are calling for “a formal vote of the BLAG on extending your defense of discrimination to veterans and their families” and a full examination by the Committee on House Administration and the House Ethics Committee of any “extension of the existing legal contract, any new contract, and any additional expenditure of public funds on behalf of outside counsel.” Democratic lawmakers have long raised questions about the GOP’s efforts to spend taxpayer dollars on DOMA and have asked Boehner to divert the resources to investigate the Trayvon Martin shooting.

This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.


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AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite


Magdalen B.
Magdalen B5 years ago

Lovely comparison, Charles, P.

Your suggestion, Ken K., that only ex service personnel should be eligible for election, is rather frightening. We've seen rule by military in other places.(There wouldn't be many women in government either)

Ken K.
Ken K5 years ago

Be nice to the WEEPER of the house. We don't want him to have a crying jag. Where did he serve., his dads tavern? Military service should be a prereq for election into the house or senate.

Linda T.
Linda T5 years ago

You can ask all you want Nancy but the Republicans are to busy stomping on us all to listen. Seniors, the poor, women, gays, health care that benefits us all, the list goes on and on.

Jan N.
Jan N5 years ago

Boner needs to develope a hard-on for something constructive.

Patrick F.
Patrick f5 years ago

Boehner back off? How about F%@$ off! That jerk is a pimple on the ass of the world.

Gail Bargerstock
Gail Bargerstock5 years ago

I don't think there is any reason to expect Boner to back off. He's a Repulsivecan, for crying out loud. They're the folks that hold in contempt 99% of the United States, and denigrate women willy nilly. Just because one is conservative, ladies, doesn't mean you have to allow yourself to be lead around by the nose.

Michael M.
Michael M5 years ago

Typical Repuke Pigs: Attack the very American Patriots to whom the t-baggers pretend to represent.

Disgraceful and sad the repukes have no respect to American Veterans and the sacrifices THEY were willing to make because cowards like Dickhead Boehner refuses to make sacrifices themselves!

Charles P.
Charles P5 years ago

We admire the Spartans. The 300 who held the pass are especially intriguing. Did you know that the Spartans all had lovers in the ranks. That is why they fought so well. The didn't want to appear weak before their lovers and they also wanted to protect their lovers. Add that to the fact that they were the best fighters in the world at the time and they were a most formidable foe. Now, the repugnants, who claim to love the military, would deny our Spartans an earned benefit. The "chicken hawks" who populate the repugnant party in congress and throughout the nations should have to go to war, even for just one day. They'd act a whole hell of a lot differently, I'll bet.

Joy Mondary
Joy Mondary5 years ago


Jo Anne P.
Jo Anne Pyne5 years ago

Just another case of Repugs being opposed to everything! So what else is new?