Democrats in the House spearheading the
repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on Monday asked House
Speaker John Boehner for an accounting on his courtroom defense of
the gay marriage ban.
Boehner appointed and led a committee
that instructed House counsel to defend the law in court after the
Obama administration announced it would no longer do so. The
president has said he believes the law that bans federal recognition
of the marriages of gay and lesbian couples is unconstitutional.
In the letter – which is signed by
Representatives Jerrold Nadler of New York, Tammy Baldwin of
Wisconsin, Jared Polis of Colorado, David Cicilline of Rhode Island
and John Conyers of Michigan – the lawmakers renew an April 4
request to be briefed on the House's planned defense of the law and
take the opportunity to suggest their legal arguments are bogus.
“It is incumbent upon all lawyers …
to undertake representation in an objective manner that is factual
and legally supportable. Unfortunately, the outside counsel that you
have retained have filed pleadings containing arguments and
assertions that are troubling and appear to fall short of this
“The United States House of
Representatives should not be making harmful and unreasonable
arguments that demean its credibility, and that of the American
people. It has been fifteen years since the Congress enacted DOMA,
and the materials and arguments that [the Bipartisan Legal Advisory
Group] BLAG is making on behalf of the House do not withstand the
test of time or scrutiny,” the
BLAG is defending the law in at least
three federal cases.