House lawyers under the direction of
Speaker John Boehner have announced they will appeal this week's
ruling declaring a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
unconstitutional, gay weekly Metro
U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey S.
White's ruling found Section 3 of DOMA, which bars the federal
government from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian
couples, in violation of the equal protection rights of such couples.
Karen Golinski, a 9th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals lawyer, sued the government after her
employer denied health insurance coverage to her wife, Amy
Cunninghis. The U.S. Office of Personnel (OPM) has argued that DOMA
blocks such benefits.
Defending the law is the House
Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), which was created by
Republican leaders in the House after the Department of Justice (DOJ)
announced it would no longer defend the law in court.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
criticized BLAG's decision to appeal the ruling and the $1.5 million
set aside by the House to defend the law.
“This is a tremendous amount of
taxpayer money expended, on a purely partisan basis, to defend
discrimination,” Pelosi said through a spokesperson. “With
progress on marriage equality coming from all corners of our country,
Speaker Boehner would have been better served and saved taxpayers'
money if he had more carefully reviewed the district court's ruling
and had declined to file a notice of appeal.”