House lawyers under the direction of Speaker John Boehner plan to ask the Supreme Court to take up an appeal in a case challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law which defines marriage as a heterosexual union.

According to gay weekly Metro Weekly, lawyers for the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) told a federal court that they would make the request in the case Massachusetts v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A federal appeals court in Boston on May 31 upheld a lower court's ruling declaring portions of the law unconstitutional.

In asking the court to put a second case, Pederson v. Office of Personnel Management, on hold, House lawyers revealed their plan to ask the Supreme Court to take up Massachusetts.

“The House now is preparing a petition for certiorari in the Massachusetts case, a petition which it intends to file by the end of this month. Massachusetts is a good candidate for Supreme Court review, as the First Circuit itself recognized: 'Supreme Court review of DOMA is highly likely.' If the Supreme Court grants certiorari in Massachusetts, which we think is likely, the Court likely will docket the case for briefing, argument and decision during the October 2012 Term,” the lawyers wrote in their filing.

BLAG has intervened in 12 DOMA-related cases since President Barack Obama instructed the Department of Justice to no longer defend the law in court.

(Related: John Boehner campaigning for gay candidate Richard Tisei.)