House Dems Still Want DOMA Defense Hearing


Democratic House lawmakers have again sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner urging that he allow a briefing on his court defense of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

From the Washington Blade:

In a letter dated Sept. 26, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the sponsor of DOMA repeal legislation, and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) as well as gay Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and David Ciciiline (D-R.I.) seek a meeting to address concerns about defending DOMA.

“As Members who believe that DOMA is unconstitutional and support the President’s decision to stop defending it, we believe that the law is not factually or legally justifiable and were interested in hearing what arguments might possibly be made in its defense,” the lawmakers write.

The letter states all interested House members should be able to attend the briefing and that it could be conducted by outside counsel undertaking defense of DOMA on behalf of the House.

Democratic lawmakers previously sent two letters to Boehner asking that he detail the cost of defending the constitutionally suspect Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Lawmakers are particularly concerned about recent filings made on behalf of the Bipartisan House Legal Advisory Group (BLAG)that are using false anti-gay rhetoric — that, for instance, it has been shown same-sex couples cannot raise children as well as heterosexual couples — to try and prop up the law.

More on that from The Advocate:

Now several Democrats — Tammy Baldwin, David Cicilline, John Conyers, Barney Frank, Jerrold Nadler, and Jared Polis — say Clement doesn’t represent them or even the scientists he cites in his legal arguments.

“It is incumbent upon all lawyers — especially those paid for by taxpayers and responsible for representing a branch of our government — to undertake representation in an objective manner that is factually and legally supportable,” they wrote to Boehner. “Unfortunately, the outside counsel that you have retained have filed pleadings containing arguments and assertions that are troubling and appear to fall short of this standard.”

Lawmakers cite that BLAG lawyers were most recently called out by researcher Lisa Diamond for distorting and indeed misrepresenting her findings in order to support their legal arguments in a New York case where DOMA’s constitutionality is being questioned. You can read more on that here.

Boehner has not responded to this letter.

BLAG took up defense of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act earlier this year after the Obama Administration was forced to review that aspect of the law and found it to be unconstitutional — as such the administration announced in February that it would not defend this aspect of the law. Contrary to some reports, the administration continues and will continue to enforce Section 3 — as is required by law — until DOMA is repealed by Congress or struck down by the courts. The administration has, however, filled against DOMA in several court cases.

Related Reading:

Leukemia Took My Partner & Now DOMA Will Take My Home (VIDEO)

Despite DADT Repeal, No Spousal Benefits for Gay Soldiers

Stephen Colbert: It Gets Better! (VIDEO)

Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to netsu.


Roxane Connor
Roxane Connor6 years ago

We don't have money to defend animals on the verge of extinction.
We don't have money to educate our children adequately.
We don't have money to feed the poor or give them needed medical treatment.
We don't have money to take care of the elderly.
We don't have money to take care of those who have fought to defend us
There's no money for national parks.
There IS money to defend a law that is not only unconstitutional, but is a hate crime.
What's wrong with this picture????

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

A.J. A.
Past Member 6 years ago

Gallup’s most recent poll finds that 53 percent of Americans support marriage equality, while 45 percent remain opposed; the results of the same survey last years were almost exactly reversed: forty-four percent of Americans supported marriage equality in 2010, while 53 were opposed. (When Gallup first polled on this issue in 1996, only 27 percent of Americans supported full marital rights for same-sex couples.)

The other five national polls on this issue reveal remarkably similar results. A Public Religion Research Institute poll shows 51 percent supporting marriage equality; an ABC News/Washington Post poll shows 53 percent supporting marriage equality; an AP/Roper poll shows 52 percent support marriage equality; and two CNN/Opinion Research polls show that 51 percent and 52 percent support marriage equality.

Indeed, most Americans do in fact "get that."

Carole L.
Carole L6 years ago

sorry i lied, but i really wanted to comment on this comment;

Gerry C
“DOMA was overwhelmingly passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton."

so do you support all passed legislation, or just that which suits your ideals?

Carole L.
Carole L6 years ago

let me finish with this;

here’s an interesting read. I posted that last 2 paragraphs;

There appeared to be many marriages taking place without witness or ceremony in the 1500's. ‘The Council of Trent was so disturbed by this’, that they decreed in 1563 that marriages should be celebrated in the presence of a priest and at least two witnesses. Marriage took on a new role of saving men and women from being sinful, and of procreation. Love wasn't a necessary ingredient for marriage during this era.
Years later, the Puritans viewed marriage as a very blessed relationship that gave marital partners an opportunity to not only love, but also to forgive.
Many people hold the view that regardless of how people enter into matrimony, marriage is a “bond between two people” that involves responsibility and legalities, as well as commitment and challenge. That concept of marriage hasn't changed through the ages.

(well not at least until now)

Notice how it says “bond between; '"two people'” not a bond between "one" man & "one" woman… but... a """bond between two people""".

Carole L.
Carole L6 years ago

but wait, there's more;

In the time of the Roman Empire (17 B.C.- A.D. 476) the lower classes who became Christians later had common law or free marriages. The father would deliver the bride and the agreement of the two was called a consensus to wed. Then eventually as Christianity spread the church interpreted a "free" marriage as a conscience marriage. This agreement meant that each partner was to keep the marriage vows and the marriage intact.

There were Romans who were very wealthy who would sign documents consisting of listing property rights and letting all know that they wanted this union to be legalized and not to be thought of as a common law marriage. Thus this began the official recording of marriages as we do today. Roman men could dissolve the marriage any time as it was a male privilege, not one accorded to females.

unless one believes that the Roman Empire began at the dawn of time...

Carole L.
Carole L6 years ago

i'm not finished yet:

Gerry C
“Marriage is between a man and a woman. It has been since the dawn of time. Most Americans get that. “

actually, at the “dawn of time” there was no such thing as marriage. sure there were men and women joining. There were arrangements between chieftains and certain women of child bearing years in the village so the chieftains would be certain if produced heirs belonged to them.

Carole L.
Carole L6 years ago

Gerry C
“DOMA was overwhelmingly passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton."

so you support denying a certain % of citizens civil rights simply because “you” disapprove of their lifestyle. oh i'm sure you'll toss in something about Jesus, the bible (wout providing the book or verse), or god to support your phobia. what gives you the 'right' to dictate how others must live their lives. you don't want to marry some one of the same gender, fine, don't. no one is forcing you to do so. you, otoh, want to deny others their civil rights to marry someone of the opposite sex. do you get it? what are you afraid of? that your mate might run off with someone of the same gender if same-sex marriage is legalized?

or am i tossing my pearls before the swine.

Gerry C.
Past Member 6 years ago

DOMA was overwhelmingly passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton. Obama should defend the law. In countless states, traditional marriage laws have continued to receive wide electoral victories. Marriage is between a man and a woman. It has been since the dawn of time. Most Americans get that.

Marriage, and other social issues, are always important...whether in good economic times or bad. Obama must think so too, after pushing his issues of gays in the military and abortion.

Fred Krohn
Fred Krohn6 years ago

There is no legitimate defence for the Disease of Marriage Act, a filthy fraud perpetrated by the administration of Komrad Wilhelm Klinton the ACORN fraud pseudo president. DOMA should not only be destroyed, but the Dummycrats and extremist Rrepulsivans involved in perpetrating this unconstitutional piece of garbage should be stripped of funds to pay damages to the citizens hurt by DOMA. Homophobia should be a crime and homophobic (or any other phobia-based) violence should be a capital offence.