House Democratic leaders on Tuesday
criticized Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, for
increasing the budget for defending the Defense of Marriage Act
(DOMA) in court.
In a letter addressed to Boehner,
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer criticized
Boehner for increasing the budget to $3 million.
“From the start, the Republican-led
campaign to defend DOMA has been a practice in futility and a waste
of Americans' hard-earned tax dollars,” the leaders wrote.
After the Department of Justice
announced it would no longer defend the law in court, Boehner
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
“Let us be clear: these steps do not
reflect the will of the House or the consensus of the BLAG.
Democrats do not support any decisions to invest taxpayer funds in
defense of an indefensible law. We remain united in our opposition
to any effort to preserve, protect and defend discrimination in our
country,” Pelosi and Hoyer wrote.
BLAG originally committed $500,000 to
defend the law.
The Supreme Court in March is scheduled
to hear arguments in a case challenging the law's constitutionality.
“We look forward to the day when this
measure is declared unconstitutional by the highest court in the land
and when all of America's families can know the blessings of equal
protection under the law,” Pelosi and Hoyer added.