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Posted at 6:06 PM ET, 02/28/2011

House Republicans pledge to defend Defense of Marriage Act

By Felicia Sonmez

Less than a week after President Obama ordered the Justice Department to no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, House Republicans pledged that they will work to protect the law, which bans the recognition of same-sex marriage.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told reporters at his weekly roundtable Monday that he stood by House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) statement that House Republicans will challenge Obama on the law, likely before the week is out.

“I do believe that this is a case that is distinguishable on its merits, and to have … the president take the position that he’s not defending the law of the land is something very troubling, I think, to most members of the House,” Cantor said.

Congressional Republicans had been largely silent on the issue in the days after Obama’s announcement last Wednesday. Asked about the move during an event at Harvard last Thursday, Cantor said that he was “a little taken aback” by it and suggested that “there are some options available to us legislatively that we’re looking at.”

In an interview Sunday with Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody, Boehner called Obama’s move “raw politics,” adding that House Republicans were “researching all the options” and would likely come to a decision by the end of the week.

“If the President won’t defend DOMA, then you’ll see the House of Representatives defend our actions in passing a bill that, frankly, passed overwhelmingly,” Boehner said. The measure was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in 1996.

Asked about the possibility of the House appointing a counsel to represent it in a federal court case, an idea suggested by former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), Boehner said, “it’s an option being considered.”

California Republican Rep. Dan Lungren also criticized Obama’s shift on DOMA, delivering a floor speech Monday in which he called the move a “dereliction of duty” and urged the House to “look into it,” according to The Hill.

By Felicia Sonmez  | February 28, 2011; 6:06 PM ET
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Defending DOMA will create at least 800,000 jobs, maybe a million or more. I know this because the GOP is all about the economy and job creation, so that's got to be their primary motivation.

Posted by: lemmetellia | February 28, 2011 7:06 PM | Report abuse

The law is technically unconstitutional until the decision of the Federal District Court in Massachusetts is overturned. That appeal is pending, but I don't know the calendar.
Why Justice Dept resources should be expended on additional cases is beyond me; let the original case decide the matter.
I don't think I want to see the House spend public money on it either, but they don't listen to me.

Posted by: OldUncleTom | February 28, 2011 8:43 PM | Report abuse

DOMA is a misnomer. Heterosexual marriages aren't threatened one iota by homosexual ones, and marriage as an institution isn't threatened, either. DOMA is just more wedge politics mongering by the right.

For the record, I'm a centrist and a committed Christian. Don't tell me I hate God and America. I don't.

Posted by: post_reader_in_wv | February 28, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

DOMA is the LAW. Obama won't defend the LAW. Why? Obama wants the "gay" vote at the expense of his Constitutional duty to defend the law.

"Gays" and Obama have one thing in common: both are lawless.

Posted by: Chuck8764 | February 28, 2011 10:00 PM | Report abuse

The President won't defend our country's laws.

The Justice Department won't defend our country's laws.

At least the House of Representatives will. Another point for a divided government.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | February 28, 2011 10:04 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the GOP realizes how much attitudes have changed over the past decade. Outside some very narrow demograhpics, this "defense of marriage" routine is starting to look just silly.

Posted by: jack824 | February 28, 2011 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Go for it GOP, GO FOR IT !!!. I just love how you guys are taking your supposed 'mandate' to its limits. Sure to win the hearts & minds of everyone who hired you to CREATE JOBS!

Posted by: kg1957 | February 28, 2011 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Jack - you are exactly right and thus the timing of the announcement.

It makes them look backwards and on the wrong side of history.

The DOMA announcement by President Obama really has no impact on DOMA. But it does make Cantor look like a hood wearing fool.

Posted by: 8-Man2 | February 28, 2011 10:28 PM | Report abuse

You'd think that Republicans would love gays and lesbians. In their unions, there are no abortions or unwanted children,in fact, they are adopting kids that other people didn't want. What's not to love, GOP??

Posted by: pumor | February 28, 2011 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Where are they finding the tax dollars for that legal fight?

Sounds like a big waste of money to me.

How many jobs, outside of the lawyers, does this create?

Posted by: colonelpanic | February 28, 2011 10:38 PM | Report abuse

No jobs yet - quick, change the subject

Posted by: interestingstuff | February 28, 2011 10:56 PM | Report abuse

DOMA claims to defend marriage. Supposedly a civil union between two adult human beings of the same sex is a threat to holy matrimony. A religion that needs state protection against a dubious threat is not much of a religion. Besides, state servicing of religious dogma is a violation of the Establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution. DOMA is symbolic of the fear experienced by people who require a social crutch that helps them live from day to day in the comfort of knowing that Authority congratulates them for bashing the unorthodox among us.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | February 28, 2011 11:03 PM | Report abuse

So much for the GOP trying to stay out of people's lives. And with that, they further consign themselves to the dustbin of history.

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | February 28, 2011 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Still waiting for even one member of the American Taliban to offer even a hint of one way in which gay marriage would "threaten" straight marriages. ONE. Even a flimsy one! We never even hear them try, because they know this is pure bigotry with zero reason and morality behind it.

Posted by: B2O2 | February 28, 2011 11:11 PM | Report abuse

If the administration believes that the law is unconsitutional, then administration lawyers shouldn't be defending its constitutionality! President Obama has stated, though, that his administration will continue to ENFORCE the law unless the court declares it unconstituitional. That sounds like a very valid approach, and I don't see the problem. If the House wants to file a brief in support of the law's constituionality, then let 'em!

Posted by: dooleyj | February 28, 2011 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Politics, politics and more politics - that is what this move represents. What the hell the repugnants need to shore up the right wing base.

Posted by: GBED989 | February 28, 2011 11:46 PM | Report abuse

The Onion has an article showing what everyone fears if DOMA isn't defended and is repealed:

"Marauding Gay Hordes Drag Thousands Of Helpless Citizens From Marriages After Obama Drops Defense Of Marriage Act",19325/

Posted by: FauxReal | February 28, 2011 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Rick Santorum as special defender of non-gay rights.

Posted by: Geopolitics1 | March 1, 2011 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Congress does not have administrative powers. It's in that Constitution they read back in January.

Posted by: gbooksdc | March 1, 2011 12:16 AM | Report abuse

If SCOTUS does not declare DOMA unconstitutional, I will be embarrassed for this country. Conservatives should be the first ones in line to demand adherence to the Constitution (Full Faith and Credit, Due Process and Equal Protection)and wipe this shameful law off the books once and for all.Bob Barr and Ted Olson agree. Last I checked, they are not liberals.

Posted by: DemoDevil | March 1, 2011 12:40 AM | Report abuse


Got that Boehner and Cantor?

Posted by: exco | March 1, 2011 12:42 AM | Report abuse

I think it's laughable that people claim that Obama is doing this (not defending DOMA) to gain political advantage. First of all, so what? - if it's the right thing to do (which I believe it is). And secondly, I really doubt he's going to realize a net political advantage from this move. I fear it will be a political disadvantage for him.

Posted by: nansev | March 1, 2011 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Actually, if Obama defended laws like repubs want , Bush and Cheney and Rummy would be at the Hague before now. Hey Boner, where's the jobs?

Posted by: jimbobkalina1 | March 1, 2011 1:09 AM | Report abuse

This is just another part of the Republicans' strategy of using bigotry against gays, immigrants, Muslims and racial minorities to gain popular support for economic policies that benefit the rich and impoverish the middle class.

Posted by: algazimaat | March 1, 2011 1:57 AM | Report abuse

So, maybe the house should go ahead and defend DOMA itself. They should then determine how much they think that will cost and remove that from the DOJ budget. If DOJ won't do it's job, it shouldn't receive the money as if it will do the job.

Posted by: Marin823 | March 1, 2011 2:18 AM | Report abuse

With Kooks like these doing the defending of a once Sacred Union, I expect to see a Justice of the Peace presiding over a couple of Beagles, next .

Posted by: puck-101 | March 1, 2011 2:42 AM | Report abuse

Eric Cantor is a disgrace as a Jewish Congressman. Does he not remember when Jews were treated like they were less than human? To deny gay and lesbian people the right to marry the person of their choice is to see them as less than human. Cantor is beginning to make people like Franklin Graham look compassionate!

Posted by: paris1969 | March 1, 2011 2:49 AM | Report abuse

Of course it's a political maneuver by Obama, maybe also a political maneuver but it's at least that.

He's thrown the GOP a softball, which they have to swing at. They have to support their spiteful christian base or they won't get those votes. So while the rest of us are wondering where the JOBS are, where the real cuts in spending are and not just the token conservative hate targets, the republicans will instead be spending money and time on still another socialist conservative issue we don't care about.

I'd like to say thanks to both Obama and the GOP for being totally, utterly, ridiculously useless.

Posted by: eezmamata | March 1, 2011 3:17 AM | Report abuse

This is clearly a situation where all the President needs to do is simply issue a "shrub" style "Presidential finding".

Oh wait, he just did! Now what exactly are the Republicks moaning about?

Posted by: RandomArrow | March 1, 2011 3:32 AM | Report abuse

DOMA doesn't pass any sort of Constitutional smell tests. So their defense of it is going to end up being futile.

DOMA is a theocratic "law" that has no place in America whatsoever.

Posted by: Nymous | March 1, 2011 3:42 AM | Report abuse

Wow, The GOP will defend the DOMA. But they refuse to create jobs, cut foreign aid, stop all Big Oil and Farm subsidies. These people are so gone in 2012.

Posted by: sumo1 | March 1, 2011 3:47 AM | Report abuse

If the gop wants to finance this legal fight, just ask Sen. John Ensign's parents to write another $96,000 check for the fight. Hey, he WAS a "Promise Keeper", wasn't he, promising to nail his good friend's wife who worked on his staff? Good ol' John even put their son (lol) on his payroll for 4 or 5 months & found some lobbyist payola for the cuckold.

I think the gop should really look at taking a "wide stance" on this important issue, because they're all for BIG GUBMINT intruding into everyone's bedroom!

Posted by: 2by2 | March 1, 2011 5:02 AM | Report abuse

Obama refuses to enforce the immigration and marriage laws in the US - that is enough for impeachment alone. Thank God the GOP is there to help enforce the code of law. Just like in Wisconsin, when Democracy doesn't work for the Democrats, they ignore it and attempt to circumevent the constitution and our country's laws.

Posted by: Realist201 | March 1, 2011 5:54 AM | Report abuse

Isn't divorce a bigger threat to marriage?

Posted by: PoliticsStudent | March 1, 2011 6:26 AM | Report abuse

The head of the GOP, the Chairman of the RNC, Ken Mehlman, at the time of DOMA, is gay.

Posted by: vigor | March 1, 2011 6:37 AM | Report abuse

Soooo....when are the conservos going to get around to that job creation thing they promised? Thus far all they've accomplished is spending more money, destroying jobs, and embarrassing themselves.

Posted by: washpost18 | March 1, 2011 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Yep, let's waste more time and energy on bigoted discrimination instead of rounding up the criminals who busted the banking system, supporting public education, ending two wars which are bankrupting the country. The GOP really knows what is important to all Americans. Without the gays who is left to "politcally correctly" HATE?

Posted by: reming | March 1, 2011 7:10 AM | Report abuse

In a rational society, DOMA would be unnecessary. But since we live in a free society and can't institutionalize the nutjobs who want to use the power of the state to redefine marriage into meaningless oblivion, we at least need the federal government to quarantine the contagion to certain lunatic jurisdictions. That's what DOMA does.

Posted by: thebump | March 1, 2011 7:41 AM | Report abuse

How much money should be spent on enforcement? Where should the money come from? Certainly not the defense budget. Perhaps it should be funded from the budgets used for food stamps or heating oil subsidies for poor families? I know, let’s take it from school lunches. After all, those kids should be working if they can't afford school lunches! It is all about priorities moving forward.

Posted by: NewThoughts | March 1, 2011 7:47 AM | Report abuse

I am sure this will create a lot of jobs. That's what the Republicans promised to focus on, after all.

Posted by: burnedout | March 1, 2011 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Let's see: Anti-Gay, Pro-Rape, Anti-Abortion, Pro-Civil War, Anti-History, Anti-Science, Anti-MOOOOSLIM, Pro-Christian Theocracy, Anti-Union, Anti-Middle Class, Pro-Oil Spills, Pro-Corp Money......

Um, don't see jobs anywhere.... so be it.

Posted by: mjcc1987 | March 1, 2011 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Yes without DOMA the US will continue to lose jobs by the millions! See what is happening in Wisconsin right now is directly because of DOMA not being defended by the Obama Administration!

Posted by: kparc1212 | March 1, 2011 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Not so hard to believe that Cantor and his bozo buddies would waste taxpayer funds hiring a special councel to defend this bigotted legistation. What is hard to believe is their sincerity about balancing the budget. Cantor really makes me look forward to leaving Virginia.

Posted by: wireman65 | March 1, 2011 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Obama refuses to enforce the immigration and marriage laws in the US - that is enough for impeachment alone. Thank God the GOP is there to help enforce the code of law. Just like in Wisconsin, when Democracy doesn't work for the Democrats, they ignore it and attempt to circumevent the constitution and our country's laws.

Posted by: Realist201
Your ignorance is simply astounding. Since President is, IN FACT, enforcing the laws in question (until they are declared unconstitutional), Your argument is unfounded. In any case, impeachment is to be used whn CRIMES have been committed (like torturing prisoners, wiretapping Americans without warrants, imprisoning people without charge and starting illegal wars).

Posted by: lgaide | March 1, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

hi i'm a republican so i'm not very smart. cood sumwon splain to me bout dis? i thot does fellas we lected sed sumthin bout less govment. oh, ise forgot! dey don't want govment messin wit rich folks or big binness, but dey wants to tell us how to live, and control wut we do in de bedrum. Hey GOP why don't you quit half stepping and outlaw homosexuality? I want to hear crybaby bohnner and cantor tell us flat out that homosexuals are inferior to the rest of us, and how we need a law to officially state that they are a sub class of society here. I'd give anything to be alive in 100 or 200 years so I could read how the republican party brainwashed 50 million people, but they're not really people, they're f'n sheeple. country full of utter and completemorons. It's maybe ten years or less until what's happening in the middle east happens here. The people in this country will wake up one day, and when they do there's going to be an uprising that these pukes can't spin away. In the meantime we all have to pay the price for you astounding stupidity.

Posted by: red2million | March 1, 2011 8:22 AM | Report abuse

These jokers need to start creating millions of new well-paying jobs. Not play around with peoples marriages.

Posted by: Maddogg | March 1, 2011 8:33 AM | Report abuse

My question is; why should the “Marriage Act” have to be defended? Look, homosexuals are human beings and have the same God given rights as all human beings have. With that being said, marriage, in the human love and emotional sense, always has and always will be between a man and woman. No wording or bill can ever change that fact. Being homosexual is a choice, so why should that choice be a vehicle to change the definition of marriage?

Posted by: gene-robinson | March 1, 2011 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I just love all the teabagging morons who think that just because the law is not being defended in court that it is not being enforced. Don't you idiots know the difference? As far as the Federal government is concerned, gay marriage is not recognized, and any gay household that tries to file jointly is going to get a call from the IRS.

This is a far cry from the record number of signing statements that Bush issued saying he would interpret the laws Congress passed the way he wanted to, and enforce them that way.

You DOMAnal Pores are so full of excrement your teeth are brown.

Posted by: daweeni | March 1, 2011 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I just love all the teabagging morons who think that just because the law is not being defended in court that it is not being enforced. Don't you idiots know the difference? As far as the Federal government is concerned, gay marriage is not recognized, and any gay household that tries to file jointly is going to get a call from the IRS.

This is a far cry from the record number of signing statements that Bush issued saying he would interpret the laws Congress passed the way he wanted to, and enforce them that way.

You DOMAnal Pores are so full of excrement your teeth are brown.

Please daweeni, if you can't write blogs without demeaning people or groups, then please don't write at all. I have reported you.

Posted by: gene-robinson | March 1, 2011 9:00 AM | Report abuse

i get it, we don't have any money left for "entitlements" or poor people, but we've got unlimited money to implement a far right wing agenda, and to pass discrminatory laws. Defense of marriage act, what a frickin joke! and could someone explain this less government crock of horse manure to me? Oh, the goverment wants to reduce the amount of sodium in processed foods from 3 million milligrams per serving to something reasonable, and they want to tax soft drinks, so I'm going to kick and scream about an issue that doesn't exist but in the minds of idiotatards. but when they want to pass laws so everyone else in America will have to practice what they believe in, and live by their standards, that's okay. God you people are brainless. Republicans are a bunch of backwoods ignorant hicks who are still living in 1860, and who think they're right and anyone who disagrees with them is wrong, so they have to pass laws to make us all like them. There's no room in the world for anyone who is different than they are. That's why they're racists and bigots, which we all know they are, because anyone different than them must be evil. The GOP should introduce legislation to designate all homosexuals as a sub class of America. And why stop there? Then they can move on to those mooslums who are all terrorists, and keep going untl there's no one left in this country but white "christians."
America can never be America until we get these busybodies out of our country. they hate America, because America means we can all be different and live our lives the way we choose, but we can't do that because these fools who cry for less government want the government to do something about all of those who are "different" than them. America, land of idiots deserves whatever they let the GOP do to them. Hey crybaby boehnneer, quit trying to legistlate morality and to replace the Constitution with the Bible, (or at least the parts you can use to advance your agenda) and do something for the people and to create some f'n jobs!

Posted by: red2million | March 1, 2011 9:01 AM | Report abuse

The GOP, the party time forgot.

Posted by: jckdoors | March 1, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Party is the anti-America Party. They wish to impose the right wing Christian bigotry about gays, on all of America.

Gay American , Americans, our brothers and sisters.

This is 2011.

Just another reason not to vote Republican.

Posted by: COWENS99 | March 1, 2011 6:53 PM | Report abuse

The dubious threat does not need everyone's approval as being nonthreatening. Do a search: The First Scandal.

Posted by: roberthagedorn1 | March 1, 2011 8:29 PM | Report abuse

These Republicans can't be serious! Good grief! Don't they have more important issues to attend to? Our fellow citizens are suffering from lack of jobs, insufficient access to health care, home foreclosures etc etc - and the Republicans want to spend their time defending legislation which treats gays as second-class citizens? Give me a break!

Posted by: nansev | March 1, 2011 11:44 PM | Report abuse

We invite potential DOMA project participants to contact us if they are same-sex binational couples who are married (or planning to marry) and who want to join our campaign to end discrimination in immigration law.

Visit us today

Posted by: jayrok876 | March 3, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

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