130 Reps Present Strike Against DOMA

130 members of Congress filed a joint amicus brief supportive of a lesbian couple challenging DOMA in court.

BY Michelle Garcia

July 10 2012 2:24 PM ET

Karen Golinski (right) and wife Amy Cunninghis

One-hundred thirty members of Congress filed a joint amicus brief supportive of a lesbian couple challenging the so-called Defense of Marriage Act in court.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and all four openly gay members of the House,  representatives Tammy Baldwin, Barney Frank, David Cicilline, and Jared Polis signed the brief released Tuesday for Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management. Karen Golinski, a federal court employee, sued the government after being denied equal spousal benefits for her wife that her colleagues in heterosexual marriages have access to under Section 3 of DOMA.

The brief argues that Section 3 of DOMA undermines Congress's legitimate interests, while also arguing that Section 3 is harmful because it was a clear, discriminatory strike against LGBT people and same-sex couples. 

The Department of Justice recently asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the Golinski case, along with Massachusetts v. Department of Health and Human Services. The House’s Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), with Pelosi and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer strongly objecting, hired outside lawyers to defend DOMA in court under the direction of Speaker John Boehner.

The brief also states that the BLAG lawyers do not speak for the entire House, and that not all representatives agree on the validity of DOMA.

The full brief is available here as a PDF.

See the signatories on the following page...

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