House Democrats Oppose anti-Gay DOMA in Court
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has led a coalition of at least 130 congressional members in filing a friend-of-the-court brief opposing the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act.
The filing is in Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management, a case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that the Justice Department wants fast-tracked to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Oral arguments currently are set for Sept. 10 and likely will take place because the Supreme Court is on summer break and won’t rule on the Justice Department request before the fall.
The department has declined to defend DOMA, the 1996 law prohibiting the federal government from recognizing gay marriages. So the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives has intervened and hired attorneys to defend the law.
House Democrats, meanwhile, have signed on to the amicus brief opposing DOMA.
The brief, according to a statement from Pelosi’s office, “makes it clear that the House is not united on DOMA’s validity, that the BLAG (Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group) lawyers do not speak for the entire institution and that there is no legitimate federal interest in denying married same-sex couples the legal security, rights and responsibilities that federal law provides to couples who are married under state law.”