In the wake of President Obama’s conclusion that his own professed view of marriage is unconstitutional (at least when codified as federal law), the House of Representatives will step up and defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in federal court. DOMA, which was passed with more than 80 percent support by both the House and the Senate and was signed into law by President Clinton, defines the word “marriage” in all federal laws or regulations as referring to the marital union of a man and a woman. When seeking election, President Obama professed to share this view of marriage, but presidential press secretary Jay Carney now says Obama is “grappling” with the issue.
In a press release, House speaker John Boehner says, “Today, after consultation with the Bipartisan Leadership Advisory Group, the House General Counsel has been directed to initiate a legal defense of this law. This action by the House will ensure that this law’s constitutionality is decided by the courts, rather than by the President unilaterally.”