House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday said he's unsure about the costs of defending the federal ban on gay marriage in court, gay weekly the Washington Blade reported.

A Boehner-appointed committee last month instructed House counsel to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which bans federal recognition of the marriages of gay and lesbian couples, after President Barack Obama announced that his administration would no longer do so.

Democrats who oppose the move have pressured Boehner for an estimate of the costs, but the Republican from Ohio said at a press conference on Thursday that the costs are irrelevant.

“I do not have an estimate,” Boehner said. “But we were placed in a position where we were in effect allowing the administration to determine the constitutionality of a bill that passed the United States Congress because they were unwilling to defend it. I don't think the House had any choice but to take the position that we were going to defend the work that the Congress – and only the courts are in the position of determining the constitutionality of any bill.”