Solicitor General Hearing Demonstrates Republican Obsession with Defending DOMA

by HRC Staff

Once again, leaders defy voters' priorities to try to score political points.

Washington - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today questioned the obsession of Republican Senate Judiciary Committee Members over the Defense of Marriage Act. During questioning of Solicitor General Nominee Donald Verrilli, Jr., committee Republicans chose not to focus their inquiries on the pressing business of the country but rather score some temporary political points attacking the Obama administration's thoughtful and deliberative review of its defense of DOMA. Verilli made clear at the hearing that during his time in the White House Counsel's office, he recused himself from participating in DOMA discussions due to prior work on the issue.

"Any American who watched nearly all of today's nomination hearing devoted to political gamesmanship has to question these Senators' priorities," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "It's time for these committee members to get down to the work of solving our country's problems, not grandstanding to a narrow base when television cameras are around."

According to a poll earlier this month by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and sponsored by HRC (, 54 percent of voters oppose the House Republicans' intervention to defend DOMA and would rather see lawmakers work on economic priorities. Only 32 percent support Congress intervening in the case. With it comes to how Republican leaders are handling voters' highest priority - jobs - 80 percent have a negative impression.

"Americans are clamoring for Congress to deal with jobs and the economy yet some Republicans seem to have missed the memo," said Solmonese. "It's inexplicable that these politicians would so misread the tea leaves in order to satisfy a fringe constituency."

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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