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Which Taxpayer Wants To Pay For This?

April 18, 2011

Just asking.

House Speaker John Boehner said he intends to divert funding from the Justice Department to the U.S. House so Congress can defend the federal law that bars recognition of same-sex marriage.

The Ohio Republican disclosed this in a letter to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who is strongly opposed to Congress going to court to defend the 1996 law. An estimate on court costs was not given.

Earlier this year, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that Obama administration would no longer defend the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, a Clinton-era law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The law also says that states cannot be forced to recognize same-sex marriages from other states.

Boehner said he has directed the House’s counsel and the House Administration Committee to ensure that there are “sufficient resources” and expertise to defend the law. Paul Clement, a former solicitor general for President George W. Bush, has been retained by Boehner and the Republicans to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.

Clement’s hiring has been slammed by the Human Rights Campaign, the largest gay and lesbian civil rights group.

“Not only are House Republican leaders defending the indefensible, they’ve brought in a high-priced attorney to deny federal recognition to loving, married couples, ” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign.

Solmonese said Boehner is “grasping at straws” in his call to divert funds from the Justice Department for the law’s defense.

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