WASHINGTON (AP) — The House's top two Democrats are criticizing Republicans for spending nearly $1.5 million over the past 15 months on outside lawyers to defend the Defense of Marriage Act that defines marriage as a union of a man and a woman.
Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and No. 2 Democrat Steny Hoyer say House Speaker John Boehner is wasting taxpayer money in defending the 1996 law.
The law signed by President Bill Clinton denies federal recognition of same-sex marriages and affirms the right of states to refuse to recognize such marriages. President Barack Obama announced last year that the Justice Department would no longer defend the constitutionality of the law. After that, Boehner convened the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group to defend it. Several federal courts this year have ruled against the law.
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