House Speaker John Boehner on Friday criticized President Obama over his decision to no longer defend in federal court the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law that bans federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples.

In March, 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 is unconstitutional.

Speaking at the 2011 Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C., Boehner chided the administration for abandoning the law and reiterated that legal fees would be assessed to the Department of Justice.

“If the Justice Department isn't going to defend this act passed by Congress, then we will,” the Ohio Republican said.

“We'll take away the money from the Justice Department, who's supposed to enforce it, and we will,” Boehner added.

Earlier in the week, Democrats criticized House Republican leaders for authorizing up to $1.5 million to defend the law.

(Related: GOP candidates urged to boycott anti-gay Values Voter Summit.)