Saturday, March 5, 2011

Boehner Says He Will Go To Court On Gay Marriage Ban

Washington - Federal courts should make a determination if a 1996 law banning gay marriage is constitutional, said Speaker of the House John Boehner.

The decision should not be made by President Barack Obama “unilaterally.”

The President has criticized the newly enacted law as illegal, and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called Mr. Obama's stand a “victory for civil rights, fairness and equality.” She represents a district in San Francisco.

To defend the law, Mr. Boehner said, he might convene a panel made up of himself, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-VA, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD).

The panel could authorize legal counsel to represent the House of Representatives in litigation before federal courts.

Though the Justice Department continues to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, Attorney General Eric Holder has issued an opinion holding that the section of the law that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman as unconstitutional.

"This is nothing more than a distraction from our most pressing challenges," said Mrs. Pelosi in reaction to the Speaker's statement about defending the ban against gay marriage.

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