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House speaker John Boehner announced Friday that Congress will defend the Defense of Marriage Act, saying he believes the Obama administration overstepped its bounds by refusing to defend the law in court.
Boehner released the following statement Friday: "I will convene a meeting of the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group for the purpose of initiating action by the House to defend this law of the United States, which was enacted by a bipartisan vote in Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton. It is regrettable that the Obama Administration has opened this divisive issue at a time when Americans want their leaders to focus on jobs and the challenges facing our economy. The constitutionality of this law should be determined by the courts -- not by the president unilaterally -- and this action by the House will ensure the matter is addressed in a manner consistent with our Constitution."
NOTE: The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group is a five-member panel consisting of the speaker of the House, majority leader, majority whip, minority leader, and minority whip. Under House rules, the advisory group has the authority to instruct the nonpartisan office of the House general counsel to take legal action on behalf of the House of Representatives.
Earlier this week the Human Rights Campaign released a statement urging Boehner not to pursue defending "discriminatory DOMA." The group has launched a "don't defend, instead repeal" lobbying effort.