Speaker Boehner Ignoring Public Will by Defending DOMA

by HRC Staff

Seven Important Questions Republican Leaders Need to Answer

WASHINGTON - Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans leaders are expected to take action as early as tomorrow to defend Section 3 of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in federal court. With a Friday filing deadline looming in two lawsuits, unanswered questions continue to dog Republican leaders.

The Republican effort is clearly at odds with the priorities of the American public. According to a February FOX News survey, "reducing unemployment" and "reducing the budget deficit" are the top priorities of Americans social issues were not even listed. House Republican leaders also seem to be on the wrong side of history. Last week, the Pew Research Center released a nonpartisan poll indicating 45 percent of people (and 51 percent of independents) supported allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. Just two years earlier, the same poll found that 35 percent (and 37 percent of independents) supported marriage equality, a 10 point jump in just 24 months.

"A ten-point jump in about two years is unheard of on an important social issue," said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign. "This jump clearly reflects the innate fairness of the American public and is proof that they are evolving toward an understanding that all Americans deserve the freedom to marry the person they love. It's just mind-boggling that Republican leaders would so misread the tea leaves in their urgent effort to score cheap and temporary political points."

Last week, House Republican leaders announced they would intervene and defend DOMA following the Obama Administration's decision to no longer defend Section 3 of the statute in federal court. Speaker Boehner is convening the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) to take formal action to intervene in the cases, and with a Friday deadline looming in cases filed in New York State and Connecticut, the BLAG could meet as early as tomorrow.

A number of important questions remain unanswered by House Republican Leaders:

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, 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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