House Speaker John Boehner, a
Republican from Ohio, will not challenge a ruling declaring the
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional.
The decision handed down Monday by the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California says the
law, which bans federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages
of gay and lesbian couples, violates
the equal-protection guarantee of the U.S. Constitution.
Judge Thomas B. Donovan's ruling sides
with a gay couple married in California who petitioned the court to
file for bankruptcy jointly.
Donovan's ruling was signed by 19 out
of the remaining 23 judges of the central district, suggesting they
would rule similarly.
House Republicans agreed to take up the
law's defense in court after the Obama administration announced it
would no longer do so, and is proceeding with appeals in several
Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Boehner,
told The New York Times that the ruling would not be appealed.
“Bankruptcy cases are unlikely to
provide a path to the Supreme Court, where we imagine the question of
constitutionality will ultimately be decided,” Buck
told the paper. “Obviously, we believe the statute is
constitutional in all its applications, including bankruptcy, but
effectively defending it does not require the House to intervene in
every case, especially when doing so would be prohibitively