DOMA Under Fire

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) will have its day in the Supreme Court next week. As that date draws closer, DOMA has come under increasing fire from those with liberal and “evolving” positions on marriage. This week a hearing before the House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, a panel not known for partisan battles, spent significant time on the House of Representative’s defense of DOMA in the courts, which was necessitated when the Executive Branch unilaterally decided it would no longer defend the law in 2011.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), the top Democrat on the panel, questioned the “fiscally irresponsible decision” to fund a legal defense of DOMA, an act she hoped the Supreme Court will find to be unconstitutional.  Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) added his concern, concurred with by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), that the House was intervening “on the wrong side of history.”

Next week, Supreme Court Justices will hear two major marriage-defining cases: a challenge to California’s 2008 popularly-approved Proposition 8, which upheld marriage as the union between a man and a woman, and a challenge to the constitutionality of DOMA, signed into law in 1996 by President Bill Clinton.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President Government Relations

Published: March 22, 2013