In yet another instance of House Republicans focusing on social rather than fiscal issues, a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee on Friday held a hearing examining the Obama administration’s decision not the defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court because they found a provision of the law unconstitutional.
Several Republicans including Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, bashed the Justice Department’s decision not to defend the law. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said last month that Congress would hire counsel to defend DOMA itself following a party line vote of the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Council.
“No one can seriously believe that the constitution’s authors intended to create a right to same-sex marriage,” Smith said.
One of the organizations represented at the hearing was the National Organization for Marriage. NOM’s Maggie Gallagher testified at the “Defending Marriage” hearing that marriage “is the union of husband and wife for a reason: these are the only unions that create new life and connect those children in love to their mother and father. This is not necessarily the reason why individuals marry; this is the great reason, the public reason why government gets involved in the first place.”
In a separate email on Friday, NOM said that an anonymous donor had agreed to match donations up to $1 million to fight against same-sex marriage. NOM’s Brian Brown wrote that President Barack Obama had “declared war on marriage his very first day in office” and that the Justice Department’s decision not to defend DOMA “is the single most significant threat to marriage the nation has ever faced.”
The Washington Blade has more on the hearing here. ThinkProgress put together this highlight reel of the “Defending Marriage” hearing: