House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has criticized House Speaker John Boehner over his plans to intervene in another lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

DOMA is the Clinton-era law which bars federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples.

The new lawsuit was filed last month by the Southern Poverty Law Center on behalf of Tracey Cooper-Harris, who is seeking benefits as a disabled veteran for her wife Maggie Cooper-Harris.

Gay weekly The Washington Blade reported that Boehner is expected to intervene in the case next week.

Pelosi is joined by House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer in a letter rebuking Boehner for the decision.

“The latest decision not only ignores the civil rights of LGBT Americans but opens a new, direct assault on veterans,” Pelosi and Hoyer wrote. “The men and women of our Armed Forces serve with courage and dignity on behalf of our safety and security. They risk their lives for the country they love – and they should not face prejudice at home because of whom they love. These brave soldiers deserve nothing less than our gratitude, our respect, and the benefits they have earned in battle.”

The Republican-led House last year ordered the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) to defend DOMA after President Barack Obama instructed the Department of Justice (DOJ) to no longer defend the law in court. BLAG authorized up to $1.5 million and hired attorney Paul Clement to defend the law.

Tracey Cooper-Harris began receiving disability benefits in 2010 after she was diagnosed with acquiring multiple sclerosis in connection with her military service but has been denied spousal benefits for her wife.