House Speaker Boehner Appeals DOMA Cases to Supreme Court



Press Contact:

Angela Dallara

Communications Associate


Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner announced that, by a party-line vote of 3-2, he would instruct the House's “Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group” (BLAG) to ask the Supreme Court to review an appeals court decision in the cases of Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Department of Health & Human Services, which found that the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional.

Evan Wolfson, founder and President of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:

“Speaker Boehner's abuse of taxpayer money to again appeal marriage discrimination that has been found unconstitutional in six successive federal court rulings is shameful.  Same-sex couples have waited long enough for the federal government to treat their lawful marriages with the respect and fairness every American wants and deserves, especially in tough economic times. Judges appointed by Presidents Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, Bush I, and Bush 2, among others, have all agreed that there should be no ‘gay exception’ to the normal practice of the federal government honoring the marriages celebrated in the states, and providing the 1138+ federal protections and responsibilities accorded all other married couples.  It is time for the Speaker to respect basic American values of equal protection under the law, personal freedom, and treating others as you'd want to be treated -- and save us all money he is wasting on running up lawyers bills, too."

The First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled at the end of May that DOMA is unconstitutional in both cases of Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Department of Health & Human Services. The Obama administration stopped defending cases against DOMA in February 2011 on the basis that it is unconstitutional.


Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide.  We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination.  We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.