After DOMA ruling, few fighting words from congressional GOP on gay marriage
One by one, leading Republicans offered statements after the Supreme Court's DOMA ruling that showed they were ready, by and large, to leave the gay marriage fight to the states.
The Defense of Marriage Act evaporated in the US Congress not with a bang but with a whimper on Wednesday, after the US Supreme Court struck down the core of the law, allowing same-sex couples to access federal benefits in states that recognize gay marriage.Skip to next paragraph
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There appeared to be no spirit to rejoin the cultural wars over DOMA, a bill that passed Congress with a vast bipartisan majority in 1996 and was signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton.
Even House Republicans, whose lawyers defended the law before the court after President Obama’s administration declined, offered no fighting words on gay marriage. One by one, leading Republicans offered statements that showed they were ready, by and large, to leave the marriage rumble to the states.
“A robust national debate over marriage will continue in the public square, and it is my hope that states will define marriage as the union between one man and one woman,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R) of Ohio in a statement.
That’s a sentiment echoed by House majority leader Eric Cantor (R) of Virginia and a slew of other congressional Republicans including potential presidential hopefuls Sens. Marco Rubio (R) of Florida and Rand Paul (R) of Kentucky.
One might have expected party leaders to offer muted responses, considering that a review of the GOP’s 2012 election effort turned up two chief policy recommendations for the leaders: back off on gay marriage and get to work on immigration reform.
But even usual GOP firebrands like Rep. Steve Scalise (R) of Louisiana, the head of the influential and deeply conservative Republican Study Committee, saw the future of the fight as one to be joined outside the walls of the Capitol.