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.
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
“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
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