Chad Griffin | DOMA | Gay Marriage | Gay Rights | John Boehner | Law - Gay, LGBT | Nancy Pelosi | News | Republican Party

House Republicans Give Up On Gay Marriage Fight: READ


After spending more than $2 million defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in a number of cases, House Republicans announced Thursday they would no longer defend the law in a case before the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts citing The Supreme Court's ruling in United States v. Windsor, BuzzFeed reports. The announcement came via a legal filing from the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), a group controlled by House Republicans. In the case in question, McLaughlin v. Panetta, servicemembers challenged not only section 3 of DOMA, but also, "Title 38 of the U.S. Code regarding veterans’ benefits that define 'spouse' as 'a person of the opposite sex.'" In their filing, the BLAG lawyers state:

"The Supreme Court recently resolved the issue of DOMA Section 3’s constitutionality. See United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. __ (2013), 2013 WL 3196928 (U.S. June 26, 2013). The Windsor decision necessarily resolves the issue of DOMA Section 3’s constitutionality in this case. While the question of whether 38 U.S.C. § 101(3), (31) is constitutional remains open, the House has determined, in light of the Supreme Court’s opinion in Windsor, that it no longer will defend that statute. Accordingly, the House now seeks leave to withdraw as a party defendant."

Michael Steel, spokesman for Speaker of the House, John Boehner, weighed in with a curt, "The document from the legal team speaks for itself." HRC President Chad Griffin noted the stunning nature of the Republican reversal, stating, "After millions of taxpayer dollars wasted defending discrimination, it’s a historic sign of the times that the House leadership is dropping its pointless quest to maintain second-class status for lesbian and gay couples." House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called for House Republicans to drop their involvement in the remaining cases to which they are a party defending DOMA and similar statutes. Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill told BuzzFeed:

"The Supreme Court’s ruling is clear. Rather than trying to delay justice for particular married gay and lesbian couples and their families, Speaker Boehner should immediately file motions to end House Republicans’ involvement in the remaining cases and stop spending taxpayer dollars to defend unconstitutional discrimination."

Check out the filing in full AFTER THE JUMP...

1:11-cv-11905 #46

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  1. Great news!

    Posted by: Jim | Jul 19, 2013 1:27:14 PM

  2. You know what BLAG stands for in French (blague): A JOKE.

    And this has been a joke in the poorest taste alright. The House BIPARTISAN Advisory whatever controlled by Republicans.

    Too much money on fighting losing battles, stepping all over civil rights and make sure in the process they show their real bigoted faces, no matter how hard they try hiding under "religious" fervor.

    Posted by: Maguitac | Jul 19, 2013 1:30:55 PM

  3. Outstanding!

    Posted by: MateoM | Jul 19, 2013 1:31:12 PM

  4. Gay Republicans will likely pretend that this means they're finally loved and accepted and embraced. Just like Matt Salmon Jr thinks that just because his dad no longer forces him to attend "de-gaying" therapy it means he supports him as a human being. which he don't.


    congrats on no longer being whipping boys! but you're still forced to sleep outside in the rain.

    that said. good bloody news. finally.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jul 19, 2013 1:32:18 PM

  5. Wow! I wonder what really happened behind the scenes.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Jul 19, 2013 1:32:25 PM

  6. Great!! Now the fight continues with individual states. Let's go!!!

    Posted by: Geoff | Jul 19, 2013 1:37:27 PM

  7. Since we are "so broke" I now expect John Boner and the other millionaire Republican Congressmen to repay that $2 million of taxpayer funds that they wasted.

    Posted by: SoLeftImRight | Jul 19, 2013 1:46:16 PM

  8. Sort of ironic when you consider the DOJ opposed benefits to gay vets and their spouses yesterday:

    The Justice Department has opposed a request by gay veterans and their spouses for judgment in their favor in an ongoing challenge to veterans’ benefits statutes — a rare skirmish between LGBT advocates and the Obama administration on legal matters since 2011.

    Citing procedural issues, Justice Department lawyers argued in a filing Thursday that a federal court in Massachusetts should not rule in favor of gay veterans and their same-sex spouses in regards to a pair of veterans’ benefits provisions that define marriage to exclude same-sex couples.

    Posted by: WayneMPLS | Jul 19, 2013 1:50:29 PM

  9. Don't believe it. Just give it a couple of days and then see. Maybe something like the crap Ken Cuccinelli is doing.

    Posted by: Matthew F. | Jul 19, 2013 2:06:45 PM

  10. @waynempls
    Thanks for the link though it appears to be a procedural issue not a sticking point. The DOJ wants the Court to rule on the two issues about how the complaint should have been handled (through the courts or through some other agency available for Veterans Benefits claim) and if they had proven the need of the case. Both the Plaintiffs and the DOJ appear to believe these are minor housekeeping issues that need to be settle so as not to be a loose end later. I am not a lawyer and could have read that all wrong though. Basically i see this as making sure the cases are all air tight, lets not leave any loose ends for the other side to pull apart at a later date. Similar to Judge Walker putting so much evidence in the original Prop 8 Case, just so it would travel all the way to the Supreme Court...

    Posted by: Randyowen | Jul 19, 2013 2:17:41 PM

  11. Just like cockroaches, they'll scurry away under the fridge, but they'll be back when you least expect it.

    Posted by: FuryOfFirestorm | Jul 19, 2013 2:23:21 PM

  12. Remember boys, they're only doing this because they a) lost with SCOTUS and b) there was no real way to continue the discrimination from DOMA. They lost and have backed out meekly. What will matter is if Republicans (and conservative Democrats) start actually doing something for us and start actually contributing towards at the very least, not standing in the way of equality. This is a start but gotta stay vigil. These people are still evil.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Jul 19, 2013 2:32:14 PM

  13. They should at least admit they made a wrong decision. After wasting all those money, they offered no apology.

    Posted by: simon | Jul 19, 2013 2:36:38 PM

  14. Stop with the partying for JUST 1 SECOND.
    The Republicans got what they wanted. They wanted to gut the Civil Rights Act so that
    they could further gerry-mander the next 2014 elections and most importantly the 2016 elections to build what they really want:
    A Republic President, Senate and House and as much as possible a Republic Governor, Senate and House in EVERY STATE IN THE UNION. If you want to see what a police state looks like in a capitalist system, just do nothing about the destruction of the Voting Rights Act. The Ruling on DOMA was the give back for the nuclear bomb they dropped on our, -every color, gender, ethnic group, the list goes on and on- RIGHT TO VOTE. Everything else doesn't matter if our vote mean nothing.

    Posted by: Bob | Jul 19, 2013 3:09:06 PM

  15. I'd be very wary and vigilant. They've probably decided to put their last gasping breath into pushing for a federal constiutional amendment.

    Posted by: Rexford | Jul 19, 2013 3:12:54 PM

  16. The Log Cabin Republicans will undoubtedly spin this as a reason gays should vote GOP.
    How naive do they think we are?

    Posted by: JonnyNYNY2FLFL | Jul 19, 2013 3:21:59 PM

  17. The title of the post is misleading. They gave up on defending Section 3 of DOMA, which the Supreme Court found unconstitutional. In other words, they had little choice. Some Republicans will keep pushing (futilely) for a marriage amendment and for other measures to prevent gay couples in non-equality states from receiving benefits ... This was a selective surrender.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jul 19, 2013 3:39:51 PM

  18. And it took less than a month to figure it out!

    Posted by: rick scatorum | Jul 19, 2013 4:10:34 PM

  19. Actually, it would never have gotten to the supreme court if they didn't defend it. So, they gambled and lost big-time. Had it remained at just the district level there would have been no national precedent and more individuals would be forced to file lawsuits in other districts. No doubt the Republicans realize this now, and are trying to contain the remaining issues at the district level.

    Posted by: anon | Jul 19, 2013 4:38:58 PM

  20. Republicans are their own worst enemies. They've prided themselves as "the money party" and yet have misspent, aided and abetted Wall St. thieves, and have thrown money at losing prospects on practically every occasion. George W Bush represented them extremely well when he couldn't find oil when a Saudi prince pointed it out. The EPA should look into them as brain polluters and the DHS should look at them as terrorists.

    Posted by: woodroad34d | Jul 19, 2013 5:11:14 PM

  21. so let them pay the bill they ran up. There's absolutely no reason we should allow them to use our money to finance discrimination against us. Send the bill to Boehner.

    Posted by: Sean | Jul 19, 2013 5:30:27 PM

  22. None of those repukes have any problem with gays. They are pandering to their religious wing nut base by opposing us. That base is increasingly disorganized, so they are totally directionless. Cryin' shame.

    Posted by: Rob | Jul 19, 2013 10:54:08 PM

  23. What Ernie said. I always agree with Ernie. Everyone should. That way I never have to think but always look like I do.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Jul 20, 2013 2:26:18 AM

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