Eleven LGBT groups on Tuesday called on
House Speaker John Boehner to stop wasting money defending the
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court.
After the Department of Justice
announced it would no longer defend the law in court, Boehner, a
Republican from Ohio, directed the so-called Bipartisan Legal
Advisory Group (BLAG) to step in. BLAG hired former Solicitor
General Paul Clement to argue more than a dozen cases challenging the
constitutionality of DOMA, which bans federal agencies from
recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples.
Last week, CQ Roll Call reported
that Republican House leaders in September quietly raised the budget
to defend the law from $1.5 to $2 million.
In a letter addressed to Boehner,
Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, the
groups joined in criticizing the Republican leaders' efforts.
“Despite the enormous economic
challenges our country is facing, the House of Representatives
recently decided to increase government spending to defend this
discriminatory law – a law that intentionally harms thousands of
Americans who are legally married. … At the same time, voters in
three states approved marriage equality and, in Minnesota, rejected
writing a marriage ban into their state's constitution. A strong
majority of Americans support marriage for loving, committed same-sex
couples – including an increasing number of conservatives. With
more states allowing committed same-sex couples to obtain civil
marriage licenses, DOMA imposes burdens on hard working, tax paying
Signing the letter are the Human Rights
Campaign (HRC), OutServe-SLDN, the National Gay and Lesbian Task
Force, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the Center
for American Progress, the Immigration Equality Action Fund,
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Center, Out & Equal Workplace
Advocates, GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality, and