Contact: Nadeam Elshami/Drew Hammill, 202-226-7616
Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after House Republicans and the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group at the direction of Speaker Boehner filed a petition to ask the Supreme Court to reverse a recent and unanimous federal appeals court ruling in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Massachusetts v. United States, striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). More than 130 House Democrats joined an amicus brief in the Gill case before the First Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that DOMA is unconstitutional. To date, Speaker Boehner has intervened in 14 DOMA cases at taxpayer expense and lost four:
“Today, Speaker Boehner and House Republicans decided to waste more taxpayer funds to advance a position rejected by four different courts and to defend discrimination and inequality before the highest court in the land.
“Democrats have rejected the Republican assault on equal rights, in the courts and in Congress. We believe there is no federal interest in denying LGBT couples the same rights and responsibilities afforded to all couples married under state law. And we are confident that the Supreme Court, if it considers the case, will declare DOMA unconstitutional and relegate it to the dustbin of history once and for all.
“Republicans know that DOMA is constitutionally suspect; in fact, House Republicans actually passed a bill a few years ago to strip federal courts of jurisdiction to consider DOMA’s constitutionality. In contrast, House Democrats have defended the independence of the federal judiciary and the role of judicial review.
“From state legislatures to the halls of Congress to the Supreme Court, we will continue our march toward marriage equality and progress for LGBT Americans. We will right a wrong of history and end a fundamental unfairness in our nation. We look forward to the day when all of America’s families enjoy equal protection under the law.”