The GOP-controlled House on Thursday
approved a rules packages which includes DOMA defense.
The language authorizes the House legal
team, known as the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), to
continue defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court. DOMA
is the 1996 law which forbids federal agencies from recognizing the
legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples.
The House is defending the law in at
least 12 cases, including Windsor v. United States, which the
Supreme Court will hear in the spring.
Court to hear gay marriage-related Prop 8, DOMA cases.)
“[T]he Bipartisan Legal Advisory
Group continues to speak for, and articulate the institutional
position of the House in all litigation in which it appears,
including in Windsor v. United States,” the
The House rules package passed in a
mostly party-line vote of 228-196.
Openly gay Colorado Rep. Jared Polis, a
Democrat, argued that the provision should be removed because they
were supporting a “federal takeover of marriage and a lawyer
“It's the wrong foot to start on,”
he told colleagues.
A spokesman for House Minority Leader
Nancy Pelosi criticized the move.
“As House Democrats have time and
time again made clear, the BLAG does not speak for all Members of the
House of Representatives and we will continue to oppose this wasteful
use of taxpayer funds to defend DOMA,” Drew Hammill told The
House Republicans have authorized $2
million to defend the law.
Pelosi charges House Republicans hid $2 million DOMA legal defense