HRC Blog

LGBT Leaders to House GOP: Stop Wasting Tax Dollars Defending DOMA

The leaders of the nation’s largest LGBT organizations are calling on the House Republican leadership to stop funding the legal defense of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  DOMA denies thousands of federal benefits and protections to same-sex couplies who have legally married in states that allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain marriage licenses. 

The letter calls on the GOP House leadership to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on a law aimed at fundamentally discriminating against Americans:

“Despite the enormous economic challenges our country is facing, the House of Representatives recently decided to increase government spending to defend this discriminatory law – a law that intentionally harms thousands of Americans who are legally married…At the same time, voters in three states approved marriage equality and, in Minnesota, rejected writing a marriage ban into their state’s constitution. A strong majority of Americans support marriage for loving, committed same-sex couples – including an increasing number of conservatives. With more states allowing committed same-sex couples to obtain civil marriage licenses, DOMA imposes burdens on hard working, tax paying citizens.”

HRC joined OutServe-SLDN, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the Center for American Progress, the Immigration Equality Action Fund, CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Center, Out & Equal Workplace Adovcates, GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality, and Forge Inc., in signing the letter.

Last week the contract with Bancroft – the Washington-based law firm hired by Republicans to defend the law in court – was made public, revealing that House Republicans secretly agreed to raise the cost cap to $2 million. Republicans began defending the bill after the Obama Administration announced in February that it viewed the law as unconstitutional and could no longer defend it in court. 

You can take action now and join HRC in calling on the GOP House leadership to drop its costly defense of DOMA.

According to a 2004 report from the Congressional Budget Office, federal individual income and estate tax revenues would actually increase $700 million per year if DOMA did not mandate the nonrecognition of marriages of same-sex couples. Recent polling from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner found that a majority of Americans oppose DOMA and the Republicans’ defense of it in court.

The Supreme Court announced earlier this month that it would be taking up United States v. Windsor, which questions the constitutionality of DOMA.

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