Washington – Changes to the Rules of the House of Representatives, set to be approved this afternoon when the 113th Congress convenes for the first time, include a re-commitment to spending taxpayer dollars on a costly defense of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
HRC Legislative Director Allison Herwitt released the following statement in response:
“In their very first act of the 113th Congress, House Republican leaders have written their commitment to their multi-million-dollar defense of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act into the Rules of the House. It is particularly disappointing that this historic Congress – with the largest-ever class of openly lesbian, gay and bisexual Members and same-sex congressional spouses – has begun with a vote that disrespects those new Members and all LGBT Americans.”
To date, the GOP leadership in the House has spent nearly $2 million on DOMA – despite the fact that a majority of Americans support marriage equality. The new rules package codifies that the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), charged with the defense of DOMA, speaks for the entirety of the House. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats, however, oppose spending taxpayer dollars on defending DOMA.
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.