House Leaders Condemn Boehner for Intent to Defend DOMA in New Case Involving Iraq War Veteran

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) have written a letter to House Speaker John Boehner condemning his decision to intervene and defend yet another challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

CooperharrisThe case they refer to is in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on behalf of Tracey Cooper-Harris, who’s seeking benefits as a disabled Army veteran for her spouse, Maggie Cooper-Harris.

I posted about his case here.

According to the Washington Blade:

Boehner will be defending not just DOMA in court, but Title 38, a law governing veteran benefits that as written precludes same-sex married couples from obtaining benefits. It’s the first time the speaker has elected to defend this statute in addition to DOMA.

BoehnerHere's part of the letter to Boehner:

This intervention once again puts the House of Representatives on the wrong side of the future – supporting discrimination, unfairness, and the denial of basic equality to all Americans.  We have objected to prior decisions by the House Republican BLAG members to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to defend discrimination.  This latest decision not only ignores the civil rights of LGBT Americans but opens a new, direct assault on veterans.   The men and women of our Armed Forces serve with courage and dignity on behalf of our safety and security.  They risk their lives for the country they love – and they should not face prejudice at home because of whom they love.  These brave soldiers deserve nothing less than our gratitude, our respect, and the benefits they have earned in battle…

…Federal district courts have already deemed DOMA unconstitutional, and the Justice Department will not defend the law.  We call upon the Republican members of the BLAG to rescind your unilateral decision to expand your defense of DOMA to cases involving veterans.  If you insist upon continuing this costly and wasteful use of hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer funds, we request: (a) a formal vote of the BLAG on extending your defense of discrimination to veterans and their families, and (b) any extension of the existing legal contract, any new contract, and any additional expenditure of public funds on behalf of outside counsel receive full prior examination by the Committee on House Administration and the House Ethics Committee.

Read Pelosi and Hoyer's full letter at The Blade.


  1. says

    i wonder how much they are willing to spend? like the 80 million dollars on President Clinton when they tried to impeach him, or just the cost that we pay their health care companies to fund their viagra, ciggs, alcohol, and other lifestyles bennies they get from the American tax payers?

  2. David Hearne says

    This is why we need real Democrats to take these people on. By “real Democrats” I mean Democrats rather than the so-called “progressives” who function inside the Democratic Party.

    Boehner is a jackass… but he’s the reason that some seriously bad Obama legislation didn’t become law. If the Democratic Party doesn’t toss out the “progressives” , then it’s going to completely lose its power base to the GOP or a third party.

  3. says

    Not a shock. Boehner the Bigotty Nitwit thought, when he first took over as speaker, that it was totes important for Americans to….have a piece of emotional HIV-illness inspired art removed from the Smithsonian because it upset some miserable Catholics?

    Hey Boehner! You’ve done nothing of note and everyone with a brain knows it. Keep sucking up to the scum of America, republicans.

    you got your bibles, your guns, and your buckets of white paint. keep proving s liberals right, y’all are cementing your places on the wrong side of history.

  4. BobN says

    Paul Clement and his firm have received $1.5M to “defend DOMA”. That defense has consisted of a handful of rehashed, decades old arguments against gay people. No doubt he’s gonna get another payment now.

    His firm is also attacking Obamacare in front of the Supreme Court. For that job, which requires a LOT more work, building a brand new case against a brand new law, he has received a paltry $250,000 from the states and other plaintiffs.

    Sure would be interesting to see the books….

  5. jamal49 says

    House leaders? They’re leaders of nothing. Boehner and his troops will use this as an effective fund-raising tool and a campaign slam against Obama and the Dems. We had our chance while Fancy Nancy was Speaker and we blew it. Get used to the new republicon majority. It’ll get bigger after 2012. They’ll control the House and the Senate and a majority of the States’ legislatures. Expect several Constitutional Amendments to be sent out for ratification. For example: an amendment defining that life begins at conception and abortion is murder; marriage is a civil, legal and religious union between one man and one woman and no other civil, legal or religious union will be recognized. Those are just for starters. Get your passports ready.

  6. gayalltheway says

    Stripping away the rights of LGBT people is bad enough but to do it to servicemen and servicewomen is just plain cruel and heartless.
    I really want to see this guy out of politics and back in his farm, where he rightfully belongs.
    Is he dumb or something?

  7. says

    this, ladies and gentlemen, is why the GOP didn’t want LGBT people to serve openly in the military.

    America’s Low-Thinkers love to jingoistically “support the troop”, but they don’t want to support or condone “the gays” – having openly-LGBT (or openly gay, at this point….) military people means that they have to…uh oh…honour gays. Which they don’t want to do. They want to honour the troops and not the gays, and having gay troops makes their little brains shut down.
    And now the GOP is put in a similar position – how can they honour the troops while still making a point of not-honouring gays? simply put, they can’t

  8. David Hearne says

    Boehner is wrong about many things, but he wasn’t wrong about how bad Obama’s “energy” bill was.

    Cap and trade is a scam based in a lie and sold as progressive.

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