Colorado Rep. Jared Polis on Thursday
criticized House Republicans for including DOMA defense in a rules
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.
Polis, who is openly gay and recently
became a father with his longtime partner, criticized the move,
saying it was the “wrong foot to start on.”
“House Republicans in this rule are
seeking to authorize lawyer fees for a costly federal takeover of
marriage that would single out legally married couples for
discriminatory treatment under federal law,” Polis told colleagues.
“At least when Democrats spend money, we build roads and bridges,
educate kids, provide health care. This Republican spending goes
right into the pocket of lawyers. Big-spending Republicans, on day
one, spending millions of dollars of taxpayer money on a federal
takeover of marriage and a lawyer stimulus – wrong foot to start
off on.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)
House Republicans have authorized $2
million to defend the law.
Pelosi charges House Republicans hid $2 million DOMA legal defense