Lawmakers sponsoring legislation to overturn the US Defense of Marriage Act – which prevents the recognition of same-sex marriage – are seeking an official briefing on the costs and other issues involved in defending the act in court.
They have addressed a letter to US House Speaker John Boehner protesting his decision to direct House general counsel to defend DOMA against litigation. The letter states: “As Members of Congress who have long agreed that DOMA is unconstitutional, we do not support the continued defense of this law in the courts… Just last week, we reintroduced our bill to repeal DOMA — H.R. 1116, the Respect for Marriage Act – and sincerely hope that you will work with us to repeal the law rather than prolong it through litigation. As of now, however, you have signalled your intent to defend DOMA in the courts rather than reconsider it in the Congress.”
The lawmakers involved are Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the lead sponsor of DOMA repeal legislation, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and four openly gay members of Congress, Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and David Cicilline (D-R.I.).