GOP leader John Boehner: House will defend the Defense of Marriage Act

By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, February 28, 2011 20:02 EDT
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Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) said the House of Representatives would defend controversial legislation passed by Congress in 1996 that defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman.

Last week, President Barack Obama decided that a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act, a Clinton-era law that restricts the benefits of marriage to a man and a woman only, was unconstitutional, and ordered the Department of Justice to stop defending it.

“I’m really disappointed in the President and the Department of Justice in the fact that they’re not going to defend a law that Congress passed overwhelmingly,” Rep. Boehner said on Christian Broadcasting Network’s The Brody File Sunday.

“It’s their responsibility to do that,” he continued. “Now, it’s happened before where administrations have decided they weren’t going to go out and vigorously defend a law that Congress passed, but I really am disappointed in the President in his actions. If the President won’t lead, if the President won’t defend DOMA, then you’ll see the House of Representatives defend our actions in passing a bill that frankly passed overwhelmingly.”

“I’d be very surprised if the House didn’t decide that they were going to defend the law,” Rep. Boehner added.

The Department of Justice said in a media advisory that in reviewing two lawsuits, Pedersen v. OPM and Windsor v. United States, the president concluded that the act did not meet constitutional standards against discrimination.

From now on, they added, in cases where Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is challenged, the Department of Justice will no longer offer a defense.

“In these cases, the Administration faces for the first time the question of whether laws regarding sexual orientation are subject to the more permissive standard of review or whether a more rigorous standard, under which laws targeting minority groups with a history of discrimination are viewed with suspicion by the courts, should apply,” the department’s media advisory said.

With prior reporting by Stephen C. Webster.

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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  • Guest

    So much hurting in the world and the country. So much poverty and despair. As the song said, “What the world needs now is Love, sweet Love” and these low lifes can only focus on such a BULLSHIT NON-ISSUE! What happened to freedom of choice?! Even in a Life Partner?! You Right wing scum sicken and disgust me with your pettiness and malfeasance and lack of SOUL!!! i thought your Jesus said, “Love one another”? What…that only pertains to Sundays and YOUR definitions?

  • RottenJohnny

    Have another drink, John. Then go on a crying jag. You’ll feel better.

  • Roberthe

    The Republican Party. Protecting the privileges of white, conservative, heterosexual Christian Americans where the Bible Belt meets the Rust Belt since 1981. Remember, We the People, you ain’t!

  • Anonymous

    Hey Bonehead, … I suppose you would like him to also defend slavery to if it was still around.

    The Law should have never been enacted, … IT VIOLATES THE CONSTITUTION, … you know, the very thing you wipe your ass with everyday!

  • http://twitter.com/Rteefact Rteefact

    That too funny they want to defend marriage…….most of them are out having affairs if they’re not toe tapping in some restroom. Just a week or so ago a Shirtless Repuke from NY was looking on Craigslist for a tranny. Defend marriage, who’s marriage, theirs?

  • Anonymous

    Boner, your marriage act is between one man and one woman. Not between one man and one woman and women you pick up in the bars. Think about what you are saying boner are you absolutely sure there is nothing in your christian past that is going to jump out and bite you in the ass? People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones……..are you sure you want to pick up that first stone?

  • Anonymous

    Where are the jobs?

  • Ma’at

    Well sure. They’re fucking bigots.

  • Anonymous

    If I’m not mistaken, Bush decided that the EPA didn’t need to enforce provisions of the Clean Air Act even after the Supreme Court told them to. What did Mr. Boehner have to say about that?

  • Anonymous

    I guess if you have a base of knuckledragging troglodytes, that would be a starter. Where are the jobs?

  • Anonymous

    I thought Government infringing on our personal lives, was a bad thing?

    Oh yeah, that’s right, you lie.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LM54MKJEKQEP6GMWROBABKCTOI Larry M

    Conservatism is their religion and Ronald Reagan is their god.They’re pro-life and pro-hetero marriage for the sake of image. It’s like they’re saying, “Look at us. We’re not complete scoundrels. We like babies”! They want Third World America to populated with new taxpayers. Even though there are no jobs.

  • Anonymous

    I’m anxiously waiting for Boner to prematurely ejaculate himself out of government entirely. Let the scandals begin!

  • Anonymous


  • http://proudprimate.com Proud Primate

    This is all a smokescreen to keep the 9/11 camp from protesting the Defense of Mirage Act.

  • Anonymous

    The GOP- producing one hollow gesture after another simply to inflame their redneck base.

  • Ma’at

    To paraphrase, “you are confusing them with people that actually care”.

  • Bryan Trim

    You see, this is why they need to get government out of regulating business. That way, they can get government on the important job of regulating bedrooms and uteri. This will create jobs, since an American version of the Muslim civilian religious police will start all over America.

    I love the new GOP. They are going to bone America so hard between now and 2012 that any liberal, moderate, or real libertarian who is not functionally incapacitated will go out and vote.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/LEUDUVF5EGJZRZETF3KV53P7BQ Thomas

    Boehner will do anything for as long as it takes and that includes destroying this country if that’s what it takes, just as long as he can stop people from asking him one question. Where are the jobs you promised the American people when you were running for speaker? Where are the jobs?

  • http://itsrobertsfault.blogspot.com/ LiberalTexasDemocrat

    So, is this his idea of a jobs bill?

  • DriveBy

    Kochsuckers have to defend the Defense of Marriage Act. They don’t have a choice.

    Not defending the act would cost them their Teabagger base, and if the jesus-freaks don’t vote Kochsucker, who will vote for the Kochsuckers?

  • mjcc1987

    And the jobs would be where?

    What, so be it?

  • DesertSun59

    “I’m really disappointed in the President…”

    I’m really disappointed in John Boehner, who said his main focus was jobs. But… sadly, he’s spent his entire tenure so far doing nothing but focusing his attention on non-important issues of absolutely no consequence to anyone except a few scattered Teatards.

    The GOP is incapable of leadership.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe it’s time to find an alternative to the power of the government. Laws which are ignored soon become moot. Soon to be the case with pot laws I think, which i know dozens of friends ignore. Would it be possible to create legal documents that would function as a simile to marriage, call yourself married and cut these ignorant jackasses loose?

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

    There is absolutely NO PROOF anywhere that gay marriage has harmed anything at all. This is just another lie told by the criminal Republican party to distract people from their own evil doings.

  • http://twitter.com/PeterNoTail Peter No Tail

    DOMA is unconsitutional, no doubt about that, but that’s ultimately for the courts to decide because DOMA was enacted by Congress and signed by a president. There is a (slight) difference between voiding a law and simply not defending, but it is still a bit troubling. And Bush-like, but in a good way. (Still Bush-like, though.)

    And Boehner? It’s awesome that you’ve discovered that thing called “the rule of law”, really it is. And it’s very sweet how upset you are that Obama isn’t going to bat for this homophobic and unconstitutional legislation.

    Now go defend the legislation that was passed overwhelmingly by Congress, at the urging of Saint Reagan, and has been ignore by Bush & Obama, the United Nations Convention Against Torture. Fulfill our treaty obligations and start an investigation.
    Do that, and I’ll vote Republican for life.

  • Taleisin

    I don’t know if your idea has legs, but it sounds good.
    We need some lateral thinking and fast.

  • Taleisin

    I am a Big Silly!
    Here I was thinking the country needs saving from corruption and economic devastation.

    Wrong! The country’s biggest threat that we must focus our attention on is…. gay lovin’ !
    Beware people, they might turn us all gay (even Larry Craig), and then god will punish us.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/fierylocks FieryLocks

    What a fucking waste of time and money. Typical republicans.
    “Oh wait, we can’t shut down the government just yet. We have to stop the gays…oh my!”–republicans

  • Roberthe

    One of the absurdities of this issue is that marriage isn’t under attack (at least not by the gays), therefore it doesn’t need to be defended. What the Holy Moral Rollers want is to keep marriage exclusively their property. They want to be the arbiters of who can and who cannot get married. In that their position is driven by their religious convictions there is a prima facie case that what they actually are doing is projecting their religious values (oxymoronic though that might be) onto everyone else, in clear violation of the First Amendment. It’s the homosexuals who actually want to defend the institution; it is their access to a fundamental human right which is clearly being violated. I see no difference whatsoever between this issue and the fight for basic civil rights in the South in the 50s and 60s. Come to think of it, it is the same mindset that opposed the enfranchisement of African-Americans then that opposes the enfranchisement of homosexuals today.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/fierylocks FieryLocks

    Well, with the new budget proposal put forth by the fascist party of America (GOP), some 700,000 jobs will be lost. Shit on America…that’s the republican answer to everything.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/fierylocks FieryLocks

    When corporations that pollute, kill, steal and need bail outs feel ‘infringed’ upon then republicans are all over it like dogs in heat. To republicans, corporations are the most important ‘person’ in their pathetic lives.
    ‘Intrusion’ of that kind is sacrilegious.

    Everyone else can fuck off as far as they’re concerned…you don’t count.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/fierylocks FieryLocks

    “Jobs…ummm, what’s that?”–John Boehner

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3WYAWTN4LJ2TAZGFCL3U4H6AWM TheGuru

    “This election is about jobs!” That’s why the first two months they were in office, they tried the repeal health care (knowing it would not succeed), tried to cut social programs (causing a budget impasse that might shut down the government), proposed cutting 70,000 government sector jobs, and now are talking about this crap.

    In other words, Repug business as usual.

  • Anonymous



  • cosliberal

    Once again, the Boner shows the dedication of his thugs to job creation….

  • Anonymous

    That’s fine Boner but let’s amend the amendment since it’s about the sanctity marriage to those who cheat on their spouses forfeit all community property to the offended spouse. Boner is a sick freak who has no respect for the sanctity of marriage so his defending anything to do with it is a joke. He’s a political hack.

  • https://twitter.com/DrMatthew Dr. Matt

    Only a teabagger would defend taking the rights away from individuals.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Boehner, how many jobs will defending the Defense of Marriage Act create?

  • Anonymous

    The courts have pretty much ruled that DOMA is a wasted effort anyway.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    So, the Boner’s position is, even if it’s unconstitutional, the President should defend it? Even if a law violates the rights of millions, the President should support it? Doesn’t the Boner know that the SCOTUS shuts down all kinds of Laws the Congress “passes overwhelmingly”?

    Hey.. Boner.. there’s a REASON we have 3 branches of Government that act as “checks and balances”.. and that’s because we, the people, fully comprehend that sometimes you paid shills GET IT WRONG.

    Marriage in the eyes of the Church may be whatever the Church wants to call it. However, under the LAW, you have a CONTRACTUAL agreement between “two living beings” making them legally act as one entity.. your restricting which adults of this country can have that agreement violates the principle of “equality of the law”. Period. So take your RELIGIOUS belief OUT of the LAW world and keep it in your twisted little demented mind.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    I saw one Republican explain that Marriage is a privileged, and an expensive one for society. Since it’s a privilege, and expensive, the right-wing should be allowed to decide who gets to be married and who doesn’t. For them, it’s a money issue (veiling their bigotry).. it will “cost too much” if we expand married couples, too much paid out in spousal benefits and we can’t afford that.

    See? it’s not bigotry, it’s just fiscal responsibility! /sigh

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Muriel-Crabcock/100003480064195 Muriel Crabcock

    Yeah. Friggin ball-baby.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Muriel-Crabcock/100003480064195 Muriel Crabcock

    Oh snap!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Muriel-Crabcock/100003480064195 Muriel Crabcock

    you can tell just by looking at him that he has secrets!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Muriel-Crabcock/100003480064195 Muriel Crabcock

    hehehe clever

  • Anonymous

    I find it puzzling that a bill containing the word “defend” is actually a bill that denies equal rights to a specific part of our population.

  • Anonymous

    Wouldn’t the house’s time and money be better spent on the economy and stateside jobs?

  • Anonymous

    Misleading headline. Should read “Republican/Tea Bagger tyrants in the House will defend the Defense of Marriage Act and Ignore The Really Important Shit.”

  • Anonymous

    They are utterly repugnant, in every way imaginable. My unsolicited advice: Get out of the U$ before “they” seal the borders (or before the rest of the world declares a quarantine and seals the borders)…

  • http://twitter.com/btmfdrsheaven rebecca meritt

    Well,I guess I’m crazy ,but gays who get married defend marriage by getting married. This does not destroy marriage or make so-called non-gays want to give up getting married.The religious crowd doesn’t care if gays live together but if they marry they become as loyal as them,they get financial benefits and there lies the problem. Everything about the evangelical world is about money,they see money as G-d’s reward and if the act of marriage carries monetary benefits it’s as if G-d sanctioned it and they can’t have that.

  • Anonymous

    “I’m really disappointed in the President and the Department of Justice in the fact that they’re not going to defend a law that Congress passed overwhelmingly,” Rep. Boehner said on Christian Broadcasting Network’s The Brody File Sunday. “It’s their responsibility to do that,” he continued. ”

    ^^ Not true. The court can overturn anything the House and Senate passes if it’s challenged as unconstitutional just like the President can veto a bill if he thinks it’s unconstitutional. That’s why there’s separation of power. But of course Bonehead Tan Man would say this to a Christian Broadcasting Network. They’re dumb enough to believe anything if it’s a controversial topic the church wants to meddle in.

    “If the President won’t lead, if the President won’t defend DOMA…”

    ^^ The President is leading and is choosing NOT to defend an incredibly discriminatory bill based on sex discrimination. He gave you your tax cuts what more do you want?

    By the way, How does this have ANYTHING to do with jobs Mr. Tan Man?! WHERE ARE THE JOBS? Why aren’t you defending Unions? … Oh that’s right, you’re a lying sack of piss that could care less about the working class.

  • Anonymous

    gosh, what ever happened to separation of church and state? really exhausted from listening to the dribble about gay marriage, abortion and the “shristain” nation we(?) are…..these arguments are so old and lame who cares?

  • http://www.balmorheaprogressive.blogspot.com/ BaileyWuXiang

    “This should keep those campaign donations rolling in.” –John Bonher’s butt buddy

  • http://www.balmorheaprogressive.blogspot.com/ BaileyWuXiang

    Whoops! Out with the Libertarian, in with the Authoritarian.

  • Robert

    God won’t rescue the economy if we don’t kill the queers. Really. It’s in Leviticus. Maybe…

  • grindermonkey

    I’ve been married seven times: two of my ex wives are in prisons for the criminally insane, three are nuns, one deals some of the finest bud in Florida and the last one just vanished into thin air. Marriage needs no defense it has natural and usually predictable outcomes depending on your choices, vices and ultimately your intolerances. I don’t think ANY legislation can control, defend or legitimize this industrial Ponzi scheme that depends entirely on clerical blessings, hollow prayers, devious lawyers and creative accountants. A calendar hanging on the refrigerator door is a sure sign that the end is near. Every woman I talk to eventually reveals a little sign, a comment, a glance, a waving motion or a primal scream that reminds me of one or more of my failed marriages. But all of that aside I miss them during the winter solstice when they are most vulnerable and agreeable. This past solstice I had no one but the earth, the sky, the stars and the cold. Its simplicity agreed with me.