Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) issued the following statement today in support of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The Obama Administration recently announced that the Department of Justice would no longer defend DOMA in court.
"Politics should not trump the law. As John Adams wrote, we have "a government of laws, and not of men.' Even though President Obama opposes DOMA, the Justice Department has a responsibility to defend the laws passed by Congress. Regardless of the President's personal views, the Administration should not pick and choose which laws it will enforce. Each branch of government has a role. It's the Supreme Court -not the President- who decides the constitutionality of a law.
"When President Obama concluded that the law is unconstitutional, he declined to do his job and invited Congress to defend the statute in his place. Thus, I applaud Speaker Boehner's decision to convene the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Groupto defend DOMA on behalf of the House of Representatives. Along with many of my constituents in the 9th Congressional District, I firmly support policies that protect the sanctity of marriage and the foundation of families across America."
The Defense of Marriage Act was passed with bipartisan support in Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in 1996. DOMA defines marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman. The law also prevents states from being forced to recognize the legality of same-sex marriages sanctioned by another state. There are ongoing legal challenges to DOMA based on various constitutional provisions.