A majority of Americans oppose the
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the Republican decision to defend
it, a new poll found.
poll released Tuesday by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest gay rights advocate, found 51 percent of voters
oppose the 1996 law that defines marriage as a heterosexual union for
federal agencies. Thirty-four percent of respondents said they
support the Clinton-era law.
Last week, House Speaker John Boehner
decided he would defend the law in court now that President Barack
Obama has said he believes parts of it are unconstitutional and has
directed his administration to stop defending the statute.
“Additionally, when read statements
for and against defending DOMA in court, 54 percent of voters oppose
the House Republicans' intervention, while only 32 percent support
it,” HRC said in announcing the survey's results.
A majority of respondents said they
supported giving gay and lesbian couples many of the federal marriage
benefits being blocked by the law, including Social Security benefits
and joint tax filling.
that would repeal DOMA is expected to be introduced in the House and
Senate on Wednesday.