House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, New
York Congressman Jerrold Nadler and 130 House Democrats have filed an
amicus brief against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
The brief was filed in support of Karen
Golinski, a federal employee who sued the Office of Personnel
Management (OPM) and won health-care coverage for her wife, Amy
Cunninghis. OPM argued that DOMA blocked such coverage.
The House's Bipartisan Legal Advisory
Group (BLAG) at the direction of House Speaker John Boehner
intervened to defend the law after President Barack Obama instructed
the Department of Justice to no longer defend DOMA in court.
While the BLAG lawyers have appealed
the decision, which found DOMA to be unconstitutional, they have yet
to request a stay of the court's ruling pending an appeal.
Last week, the
White House asked the Supreme Court to review the case.
In a statement, House Democrats said
their brief “makes it clear that the House is not united on DOMA's
validity, that the BLAG lawyers do not speak for the entire
institution, and that there is no legitimate federal interest in
denying married same-sex couples the legal security, rights and
responsibilities that federal law provides to couples who are married
under state law. Section 3 does not affect married heterosexual
couples and their children, who are recognized regardless of DOMA.
And this law affirmatively harms married gay and lesbian couples and
The brief's sponsors have pledged to
file an amicus brief in each of the cases where the BLAG has