House legal panel votes to defend traditional marriage law
By Benjamin Mann
House Speaker John Boehner
House Speaker John Boehner

.- The House of Representatives has determined that its legal counsel will support the Defense of Marriage Act against legal challenges, following the Obama administration's announcement that it now regards the law as unconstitutional.

On March 9, a five-member House advisory panel voted to mount a defense of the law, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

The bipartisan panel has the authority to advise the non-partisan General Counsel in taking legal action on behalf of the House of Representatives.

“After consultation with the Bipartisan Leadership Advisory Group, the House General Counsel has been directed to initiate a legal defense of this law,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R – Ohio) in a March 9 statement.

“This action by the House will ensure that this law’s constitutionality is decided by the courts, rather than by the President unilaterally,” Boehner explained.

Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer voted against  further defense of the marriage law by the House General Counsel, but were outvoted by Republican House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy.

The Obama administration has defended the law against constitutional challenges in the past, but announced on Feb. 23 that it would no longer do so.

Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. bishops' conference, criticized the Obama administration's change in course in a March 3 statement. He described the new policy as “not only a grave threat to marriage, but to religious liberty and the integrity of our democracy as well.”

The U.S. bishops also joined inter-religious leaders in a March 3 letter asking the House of Representatives to “rectify this lapse in judgment” on the part of the Justice Department.

Archbishop Dolan rejected the Obama administration's characterization of the Defense of Marriage Act as “discriminatory.” The law, he explained, was simply a means of confirming the essential and unchangeable meaning of marriage, as a “singular and irreplaceable institution.”

At the beginning of the 112th Congress, Archbishop Dolan cited support for the Defense of Marriage Act as being among the U.S. bishops' top legislative priorities –  alongside efforts to end abortion, help poor and vulnerable citizens, and conclude the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 16, 2014

Wednesday of Holy Week

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 26:14-25


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Is 50:4-9a
Gospel:: Mt 26:14-25

Homily of the Day

Mt 26:14-25


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: