House Republicans File SCOTUS Brief Defending DOMA

House Republicans have filed a Supreme Court brief urging SCOTUS to uphold the constitutionality of DOMA, Buzzfeed's Chris Geidner reports:

John_boehnerAs to the law itself, the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group — controlled 3-2 by Republicans in light of their House majority — argued that the federal government had the authority to legislate in an attempt to ensure "national uniformity" regarding the provision of federal benefits. The House leaders argue that in addition to the federal reasons, the Congress could act for the same reasons many states have acted to ban same-sex couples from marrying. They wrote:

There is a unique relationship between marriage and procreation that stems from marriage's origins as a means to address the tendency of opposite-sex relationships to produce unintended and unplanned offspring. There is nothing irrational about declining to extend marriage to same-sex relationships that, whatever their other similarities to opposite-sex relationships, simply do not share that same tendency. Congress likewise could rationally decide to foster relationships in which children are raised by both of their biological parents.

Finally, the House Republican leaders argue that laws classifying people based on sexual orientation should not be scrutinized more closely by courts, as is done with other types of laws under the Constitution's equal protection guarantees, because "the histories of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, sex, and legitimacy are different."

Read Geidner's full post here.

An eyeroll does not even begin to do this justice.


  1. iowan says

    I find the use of their term ‘tendency’ to be interesting. Marriage was ‘crafted’ to deal with bastard children? Have these guys read anything historical about marriage? And because same sex couples can’t procreate, there is no benefit to be had in fostering stable relationships? It all comes down to children? I’ll admit, I didn’t read the full writeup, maybe those issues were addressed more clearly elsewhere… As always, some rigorous, peer reviewed studies to support their stance would be nice. I find it hard to have dialogue when all that is being discussed is ‘irrational’ emotions.

  2. Jack M says

    This is using valuable time that could be spent working on improving the economy, education, and the general well-being of the nation. You know, important stuff.

  3. Wavin' Dave says

    Tick-tock, tick-tock,tick-tock. Time is soon up for such empty-headed old white guys. I can’t wait to watch this play out for all to see and hear. Inaugural eloquence shows the opposition to be without real merit. And morally, linguistically, statistically bankrupt.

  4. benjamin says

    So they’re asking for special rights? That’s their argument? And I agree, marriage was created to help sort out the whole bastard child thing. Partially true. It was a way to control property and to whom it was passed; the legitimacy of it all. Of course, part of the property agreement back then was the bride herself. I think we can all agree we’ve evolved since then, and the meaning of marriage is inclusive of making a life together, and shared property rights, etc. Why is that not part of the pursuit of happiness clause that started this country?

  5. unruly says

    Marriage’s origins was to facilitate property laws. Property = power and it was merely a contract to strengthen the power of family lines. This goes for tribal society as well as feudal society. There is no mention of children in this.

  6. mike/ says

    Benjamin hits the nail on the head. marriage was instituted to protect property AND because the royals back in the day just had sex any time, any where, and with any one, the ‘church’ needed to protect itself by creating ‘legitimacy’ by ensuring paternity rather than fighting claims to its power upheld by the royals who had the military & resources.

  7. LiamB says

    Mike, you realize that marriage predates the church, and the middle ages, right? That almost every culture in the world has had some form of marriage, and people of all social stratas (excluding slaves) got married. It wasn’t a ‘royals/church’ thing. Even lowly farmers and fishmongers got married.

  8. Jim Stone says

    Huh??? Gay folk make great adoptive parents..(you know..for the poor kids who are thrown away from their heterosexual parents) Their arguments make no sense…

  9. Jay says

    Oh…I see…

    Its the obligation of the United States Congress to ensure national uniformity and since some States do not provide equal benefits to all their citizens, it is the obligation of the Congress to ensure all United States citizens are kept from equal access to Federal benefits.

    Please SCOTUS, see it our way: We have to keep discriminating because it makes things easier.

  10. Lymis says

    The Supreme Court ruled that inmates on death row with no visitation rights still retain the fundamental right to marry.

    If marriage can be considered fundamental and valid between two people who will never be allowed in the same room and will legally be prevented from ever having sex, then there is no possible way to claim that procreation is a legal foundation for marriage, whether it’s intentional or not.

    The Supreme Court ruled that the government cannot interfere with a married couple’s right to choose not to procreate, because that right is beyond the scope of permissible government action.

    They aren’t just demanding that the Supreme Court rule on same-sex marriage. They are demanding the the Court reverse a huge number of rulings that it is a fundamental right.

    Further, they claim that since gay people can marry straight people, we aren’t being discriminated against – its’ that sort of idiocy that caused the creation of heightened scrutiny in the first place.

    We couldn’t get better fuel FOR our side if we were paying these idiots.

  11. DAN says

    Would these defenders of “the way marriage has always been through the years” like to return to those days of arranged marriages and dowries, you know “traditional marriage”?

  12. Chris says

    Like Bart said, since when do we have FEDERAL marriages? I mean, really…… This is the Party that is all about STATES rights….except when it isn’t.

  13. Icebloo says

    When full equality finally arrives for gay people the dishonest shi$head Republicans will claim THEY were for it and THEY were the ones who gave it to us…..sadly over time people will forget the truth and people will believe them !

  14. says

    wait…i’m INCREDIBLY confused….

    …is DOMA going to be defended as an “only a woman and man can marry” thing or is it going to be used as “only a man and woman who passed fertility tests and are going to be raising children together” sort of thing?

    because “legalizing gay marriage” has ZILCH to do with a child, any child, “having a mother and a father”

    je suis confuse.

  15. David Hearne says


    “Time is soon up for such empty-headed old white guys.”

    Nothing racist about that statement. BTW, like many who don’t understand population dynamics, statistics, and the English language you won’t live to see white people in the minority in this country.

  16. Randy says

    I can’t believe their two arguments are:

    1. Heterosexuals are pathetic and marriage is a crutch they need to stop producing fatherless children. Frankly, this is what heterophobia looks like. Homophobia and heterophobia go hand-in-hand.

    2. It’s OK to define rape in a gendered way because the statutory rape of boys can’t result in the boy becoming pregnant (you have to read the footnote to believe it!) and therefore it’s OK to define marriage in a way that distinguishes opposite-sex from same-sex on the same basis.

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