A five-member panel appointed by House Speaker John Boehner has instructed the House to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Washington Post reported.

The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group on Wednesday voted 3-2 along party lines to instruct the House's nonpartisan Office of the General Counsel to defend the 1996 law, now that President Barack Obama won't.

Obama decided that his administration would no longer defend the law that bans federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples and allows states to ignore such marriages from out of state. The president said he believes parts of the law are unconstitutional.

“This action by the House will ensure that this law's constitutionality is decided by the courts rather than by the president unilaterally,” Boehner said in a statement.

The panel's Democrats, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, voted against the move.

Pelosi said defending the law will be expensive and time consuming.

“Pursuing this legal challenge distracts from our core challenges: creating jobs, strengthening the middle class, and responsibly reducing the deficit,” Pelosi said in a statement.