House Republicans Hire Lawyer to Take Defense of Marriage Act Cases


"The House Republican leadership continues to show that they're more interested in scoring cheap political points on the backs of same-sex couples than tackling real problems," Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese said. "As Americans across the country continue to struggle, Speaker Boehner's prescription has been to keep families he doesn't like from accessing needed protections."

Americans Divided on Gay Marriage

DOMA was passed by a Republican House and Senate and signed into law by Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1996. The law means same-sex couples are not afforded the same rights as straight couples when it comes to Social Security benefits, hospital visitation and other rights.

Americans divide about evenly on gay marriage, according to the most recent ABC News/Washington Post poll.

Forty-seven percent said it should be legal, while 50 percent said it should be illegal, with strong opinions on both sides.

As recently as 2006, 36 percent favored legalizing same-sex marriage with 58 percent opposed.

Gay civil unions, with "the legal rights of married couples in areas such as health insurance, inheritance and pension coverage," are less controversial -- 66 percent in favor, according to the latest poll, a new high by a substantial margin.

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