DOMA Defense Money Should Go to Trayvon Martin Probe


Representative Mike Honda  (D-California) said at an appropriations subcommittee hearing on Tuesday that the money being spent on defending the Defense of Marriage in court could be better spent investigating the Trayvon Martin case.

Reports The Examiner:

“We can spend some of that money and address ourselves to the issue in Florida where we could do some investigation and see if there are civil rights violations,” said Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., and a senior Democratic whip team member.

At an appropriations subcommittee hearing Tuesday, Honda called on the GOP leadership to stop defending DOMA because the White House in February 2011 said it would stop defending the law, which Attorney General Eric Holder said violated the Constitution. The Supreme Court hasn’t ruled on the law that defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman.

Honda previously demanded a hearing into Boehner’s “irresponsible, backdoor use of taxpayer money to pay …  to represent the House in support of the constitutionally-questionable[law].” Honda also called Boehner “overzealous” to have committed funds to defending the Defense of Marriage Act without knowing where those funds were coming from.

House Speaker Boehner has faced considerable pressure over the $1.5 million he has committed to spending to defend in court the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

This week saw revelations that the House had already collected $742,000 in defending DOMA and current contracts do not rule out a further ceiling hike if the $1.5m cap is reached, though the House leadership would not say how much of that money it has currently spent.

The House is currently involved in defending DOMA in 12 suits, nine of them active cases.

Also, while Boehner had said he intended to take the money back by defunding the Department of Justice by an equivalent amount, it emerged this week that no such recoup has happened.

Reports the Huffington Post:

“False reports that Republicans were able to get funds from the Dept. of Justice have now been thoroughly debunked,” Ryan Nickel, a spokesman for Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee, told The Huffington Post in an email. “In these difficult fiscal times, Democrats will continue to ask Republican leadership how they intend to pay for this contract.”

A GOP spokeswoman for the Appropriations Committee declined to weigh in on the funding streams and deferred to Boehner’s office. A Boehner spokesman reiterated that the Justice Department’s budget was cut last year. This was, of course, the case with nearly all federal agencies.

It is expected that DOMA will, in due course, go before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Meanwhile, Rep. Honda this week released a statement with regards to the Trayvon Martin shooting. Excerpts read:

I am extremely saddened to hear about the devastating killing of Trayvon Martin. I send my condolences to his family, friends, and community. While there are many unresolved questions, it is in the best interests of our country, and our commitment to all individuals in this nation regardless of skin color, that justice be served. Mr. George Zimmerman still walks a free man, while a 17-year-old deceased and unarmed young man is under scrutiny, validating that the underpinnings of this case must be proactively investigated, evaluated, and determined.


This brutality should not become another statistic, yet we also cannot view it as an isolated event. As a World War II Internee, I know firsthand the impact that racially motivated crimes can have on a family and a community. Violent acts are disproportionately committed against communities of color, and it is outrageous that cases such as Trayvon’s go uninvestigated, overlooked, and ultimately ignored.

Catch up on Care2′s full coverage of the developing Trayvon Martin story here.


Related stories:

Zimmerman Lawyer Walks on ‘Hardball’ Interview

Trayvon Martin: What Does The Rest of The World Think?

How Gun Advocates Failed The Trayvon Martin Messaging Battle


Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Refracted Moments.


Steve Williams
Steven Williams5 years ago

In answer to Steve R.: You have assumed a priori that because I am against DOMA I support Rep. Honda's assertion that the money should be spent on the Zimmerman investigation, and therein that I support the spirit of Rep. Honda's statements. You have no basis for this claim because I do not in the post suggest my feelings one way or the other. I point this out merely to highlight that we are all capable of rushing to judgment before we have the facts of the matter -- something we can agree should be guarded against.

Lilithe Magdalene


Richard T.
Richard T5 years ago

Thank you!

Marianna B M.


Doris Turner
Doris Turner5 years ago

Should I be confused? Speaker Boehner committed 1.5 million to defend DOMA?? Isn't he part of the group who want to cut government spending, or has he changed his mind and I missed it.

Phil Smith
Phil Smith5 years ago

Sarcactically ~ Should we hang Zimmerman now 'or' wait for the truth of what really happened to be revealed.??

Question ~ Isn't being Biased another form of prejudice??

Get "ALL" the facts people ,, BEFORE you go putting your name on a hit list..

Anne Cole
.5 years ago

Steve R thinks it's ok to shoot black kids, but not ok to have an abortion. Go figure.

Donna B.
Donna B5 years ago

Get a life, Mike Honda! You live in another state. We have enough crap going on right here, in our own state of Florida. Thanks but NO thanks!!

Steve R.
Steve R5 years ago

Steve Williams - investigating the Trayvon Martin case shouldn't cost much at all!

Is there enough evidence to arrest Zimmerman, charge him, and get a conviction?

No? Okay - case closed!

Remember OJ Simpson? Countless thousands of dollars - not guilty!

Remember Casey Anthony? Countless thousands of dollars - not guilty!

Zimmerman cannot be tried or even arrested, because you, Mr Honda, the delusional Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and sundry others, "demand" it and march in protest till the cows come home. The same system of justice that allowed those others to walk free, a system brought about by those that run this country, Democrats included, must prevail!

And throwing DOMA money at it won't help, much as you would like to see it done!

Linda T.
Linda T5 years ago

That will be the day when Republicans fight for fair justice of a black youth. Seems like just yesterday when a reknown Republican was call for black youth to work at their schools as a janitor. Oh it was just yesterday, oh okay, so it's been a month.