History in the high court

Pelosi: GOP has been ‘irresponsible’ on same-sex marriage issue

Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Minority Leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), said Wednesday that Republicans who voted to spend millions in taxpayer dollars defending the federal ban on same-sex marriage are “irresponsible,” and that she’s “very optimistic” the U.S. Supreme Court will strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.

Nancy Pelosi

Speaking to reporters after attending the Supreme Court hearing on the constitutionality of DOMA, Pelosi remarked that she does not envy Paul Clement, the attorney representing the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) in defending DOMA.

“What a stale role to play in life,” Pelosi said of Clement, during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol.

Pelosi added that the decision by House Speaker John Boehner and House GOP leaders to defend DOMA in court was a violation of their oaths to uphold the Constitution.

“The behavior of Republicans in the House of Representatives on this subject has been so irresponsible,” Pelosi said, equating the defense of DOMA in court to defending “increasing discrimination in our society.”

“It’s just plain wrong,” she said.

In January, the GOP-controlled BLAG raised the spending cap with Clement and the Washington-based law firm Bancroft LLC to $3 million to defend DOMA in the Supreme Court, the third time the contract had been adjusted since its original $500,000 cap.

Pelosi, a longtime advocate of LGBT rights, was one of a handful of lawmakers who attended the Supreme Court hearing, calling the experience “thrilling.”

“I’m very optimistic that DOMA will be struck down,” she said. “It doesn’t seem to have a rational basis.”

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