WASHINGTON -- A lawyer standing for the House of Representatives argued in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday, but Republicans who lead the chamber were not present for the oral arguments at the Supreme Court.
Their absence was conspicuous, particularly as Democrats now largely oppose the 1996 law banning federal recognition of same-sex unions. House Speaker John A. Boehner announced that the House would seek to defend the law after the White House announced plans to drop its defense in 2011.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi attended Wednesday’s arguments with two guests, Karen Golinski and Amy Cunninghis, a lesbian couple from San Francisco.
Spokesmen for both Boehner and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said the leaders did not select guests to use seats reserved for them at the high court.
Pelosi criticized the Republicans for spending taxpayer money to fund the defense, calling the party out of step with public sentiment.