Press Release ● Human and Civil Rights
For Immediate Release: 
March 4, 2011
Contact Info: 

Katie Grant, 202-225-3130

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after Speaker Boehner announced he would convene the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group to discuss defending the Defense of Marriage Act in court:

 “The Speaker has indicated he is going to convene the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group to decide whether to intervene in cases concerning the Defense of Marriage Act. I believe the Administration has correctly concluded that the statute is discriminatory and unconstitutional. I therefore will oppose intervening in cases regarding this Act.

“The Justice Department's decision not to defend this law is not without precedent. Since 1979, there have been over 50 instances in which both Democratic and Republican Administrations have declined to defend acts of Congress. Rarely has the House intervened to defend the constitutionality of statutes that the Justice Department has declined to defend.”