Washington, D.C. - Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after Speaker John Boehner announced he would convene the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group for the purpose of initiating action by the House to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court:
“President Obama took a bold step forward for civil rights and equality when he announced that the federal government would no longer argue to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act in court.
“This legislation has long raised constitutional questions and has long been viewed as a violation of the equal protection clause. That's why I voted against it on the floor, and that's why I oppose Speaker Boehner's effort to put the House in the position of defending this indefensible statute.
“Aside from standing up for a discriminatory law and failing to focus on jobs and the economy, this action places Republicans squarely on the wrong side of history and progress. In addition, this decision will burden the staff and monetary resources of the Office of the General Counsel, and given the complexity of these cases and the number of courts involved, it is likely this will cost the House hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars.
“This is nothing more than a distraction from our most pressing challenges, and Speaker Boehner should follow his own advice and work with Democrats to create jobs, strengthen the middle class, and responsibly reduce the deficit.”