The Family Research Council (FRC) supports House Speaker John Boehner's decision to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court.

Boehner on Friday announced the creation of a five-member panel to consider whether to instruct the House's nonpartisan Office of the General Counsel to defend the law after President Barack Obama announced the Department of Justice would no longer defend the law because he believed parts of it are unconstitutional. DOMA bans federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples and allows states to ignore such marriages from out of state.

“We commend Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor for intervening to defend DOMA,” FRC President Tony Perkins said in a statement. “A forceful intervention is a necessary response that will limit the dangerous precedent set by President Obama's refusal to defend DOMA.”

Perkins suggested the Department of Justice had only halfheartedly defended the law.

“We are optimistic that DOMA will now receive a vigorous legal defense. Until now, this statute, passed by overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate and signed into law by President Clinton, has only received an anemic defense by the Obama Justice Department. That falls short of the vigorous and intelligent effort that the federal definition of marriage and American families deserve.”

Gay GOP group Log Cabin Republicans also cheered Boehner's move. But six House Democrats, including its four openly gay members, on Friday released a statement in support of the president's decision.