Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday afternoon will hold a bipartisan leadership meeting to determine whether the House should take legal action to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
“Tomorrow, the bipartisan leadership of the House will meet to decide whether the House will take action to ensure that the constitutionality of DOMA is decided by the courts,” said Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner (R-Ohio.).
Boehner on March 4 announced the formation of the five-member Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group for “the purpose of initiating action by the House to defend” DOMA. The White House last month announced that it would no longer defend the law, which bans gay marriages, in federal court.
The group, which includes Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), is slated to meet at 4:30 p.m. in Boehner’s office.
Republicans have argued that because the law was passed with significant bipartisan support and signed into law by President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, Obama should not unilaterally decide it is unconstitutional.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.