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LGBT leaders to House GOP: Stop wasting tax dollars defending DOMA

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Leaders of ten of the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights advocacy organizations on Tuesday called on the U.S. House Republican leadership to stop funding the legal defense of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

DOMA forbids the federal government from recognizing the marriages of lawfully wedded same-sex couples, legally married in states that allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain marriage licenses.

The letter, addressed to House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), calls on the GOP House leadership to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on a law aimed at fundamentally discriminating against Americans:

“Despite the enormous economic challenges our country is facing, the House of Representatives recently decided to increase government spending to defend this discriminatory law – a law that intentionally harms thousands of Americans who are legally married,” the letter reads.

“At the same time, voters in three states approved marriage equality and, in Minnesota, rejected writing a marriage ban into their state’s constitution.

“A strong majority of Americans support marriage for loving, committed same-sex couples – including an increasing number of conservatives. With more states allowing committed same-sex couples to obtain civil marriage licenses, DOMA imposes burdens on hard working, tax paying citizens.”

Last week the contract with Bancroft – the Washington-based law firm hired by Republicans to defend the law in court – was made public, revealing that House Republicans secretly agreed to raise the cost cap to $2 million.

Republicans began defending the bill after the Obama Administration announced in February that it viewed the law as unconstitutional and could no longer defend it in court.

According to a 2004 report from the Congressional Budget Office, federal individual income and estate tax revenues would actually increase $700 million per year if DOMA did not mandate the nonrecognition of marriages of same-sex couples.

Recent polling from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner found that a majority of Americans oppose DOMA and the Republicans’ defense of it in court.

The letter is signed by:

A copy of the letter is here (PDF).

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