132 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives today filed an amicus brief detailing their opposition to DOMA, the federal Defense of Marriage Act that bans the federal government from recognizing legally-married same-sex couples. The brief specifically notes that the House is not of one mind on DOMA, and the signatories believe it unconstitutional and are opposed to Speaker of the House John Boehner‘s attempts t0 defend the law — already found unconstitutional by several federal court judges.
The amicus brief includes signatures from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Whip Steny Hoyer, Jerrold Nadler, James Clyburn, and John Conyers, along with members of the House LGBT Caucus: Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin, Jared Polis, and David N. Cicilline.
The brief was filed specifically in support of Golinski v. U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
Noting that some of the 132 House Democrats who signed the brief originally voted against DOMA in 1996, and others voted for it — while others were not members of the House then — “all believe, today, that Section 3 of DOMA, which defines marriage for all federal purposes as ‘only a legal union between one man and one woman,’ lacks a rational relationship to any legitimate federal purpose and accordingly is unconstitutional,” the brief states.
Having concluded that Section 3 fails to fulfill the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment, amici wish to share their unique perspective on why this is so. Amici also wish to make clear that the Bi- partisan Legal Advisory Group (“BLAG”), does not speak for a unanimous House on this issue. While Speaker Boehner directed the defense of DOMA by virtue of the divided 3-2 vote of the BLAG, many Members believe that Section 3 of DOMA violates the Constitution and should be struck down.
Read the entire amicus brief below.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly noted the number of House Democrats who signed the brief as 130. It is 132.
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