Washington– House Republicans, under the leadership of Speaker John Boehner, have racked up a $1.5 million bill in their relentless pursuit of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – and they are sticking American taxpayers with the cost. Despite the fact that a solid majority of Americans support marriage equality, and despite the fact that the House Republicans’ legal case has been soundly rejected in all five federal courts in which it has been heard, Speaker Boehner now faces the question of whether to raise the $1.5 million cap and continue spending even more taxpayer dollars on the DOMA defense.
HRC Legislative Director Allison Herwitt issued the following statement in response:
“It’s unbelievable that House Republicans continue to pour taxpayer dollars into a case aimed solely at discriminating against Americans. In poll after poll, we see that voters do not view marriage equality as a critical issue for lawmakers – likely because a good majority of the country already supports it. The American people need job creation and infrastructure improvements.
“Instead of focusing on the real problems that impact people’s livelihood, Speaker Boehner and House Republicans are funneling money into an issue that does nothing to improve conditions for the millions of Americans in need of help, and actually harms loving and committed same-sex couples looking to start their own families.”
Under DOMA, even lawfully-married couples are denied access to more than 1,100 rights, benefits and responsibilities under federal law. These include Social Security survivor benefits, federal employee health benefits for spouses, protections against spouses losing their homes in cases of severe medical emergencies, the right to sponsor a foreign born partner for immigration, the guarantee of family and medical leave and the ability to file joint tax returns, among many others.
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.