California Representative Buck McKeon
is the latest lawmaker to support a bill that would force the Obama
administration to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Representative Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)
introduced her resolution after President Barack Obama announced he
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 and instructed
the Department of Justice to no longer defend the statute in court.
Hartzler's resolution states that
Congress “condemns the Obama administration' direction [sic] that
the Department of Justice should discontinue defending the Defense of
Marriage Act; and demands that the Department of Justice continue to
defend the Defense of Marriage Act in all instances.”
In a statement released Friday, McKeon
expressed regret at the president's decision.
“I have serious concerns about the
Administration arbitrarily overreaching and unilaterally determining
the constitutionality of legislation, a move that should be left for
the courts to decide,” McKeon said. “The Defense of Marriage Act
was passed by Congress in 1996 with bipartisan support and was signed
into law by President Bill Clinton. It has been official law for 14
years. That's why I signed onto a resolution this week to reverse
the Administration's unruly decision not to defend DOMA. The Justice
Department has a responsibility to defend the laws passed by Congress
regardless of the personal and political views of the President or
the Attorney General.”
The resolution has attracted 81
co-sponsors in the House, including Representatives Jim Jordan of
Ohio, Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, Steve King of Iowa, Trent
Franks of Arizona and possible presidential candidate Michele
Bachmann of Minnesota.