UPDATE: VIDEO OF THE ACTION FROM THE LOCAL FOX AFFILIATE AFTER THE JUMP (Bonus Q: "What is the Indefensive Marriage Act?")
At approximately 2:00 p.m. today, activists commenced a sit-down in Speaker John Boehner's office. They are demanding that he protect the rights of ALL Americans by focusing on job creation, and not discrimination.
Five GetEQUAL Ohio activists have entered Speaker Boehner's West Chester office to deliver 33,233 CREDO Action and GetEQUAL petition signatures. After delivering the petition signatures they will ask to speak to their representative. If and when denied their right to engage their elected official, the five protesters held a sit-in demanding they speak to their representative about DOMA.
Simultaneously, there is a solidarity protest/rally outside the office, where GetEQUAL Ohio activists will be joined by Equality Ohio and Impact Cincinnati.
This comes out of the recent memo from the Obama Administration stating that it will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court.
Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans leaders are expected to take action as early as today to defend DOMA in federal court. With a Friday filing deadline looming in two lawsuits, unanswered questions continue to dog Republican leaders.
Please call Speaker Boehner at his West Chester office: (513) 779-5400
If the line is busy, call his Washington DC Office: (202) 225-6205
Tell the receptionist, politely but firmly, that you ask that Speaker Boehner protect the rights of ALL Americans by focusing on job creation and not discrimination; you oppose the defense of DOMA in court.
Seven questions to ask, after the jump.
1. There are as many as nine lawsuits in federal court challenging the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA. Will House Republicans intervene in all of these lawsuits?
2. Who will represent House Republicans in court? Will the House hire outside private counsel to defend the cases? If pro-bono legal counsel will be asked to represent the House, who will that be? Will a conflict and ethics check be conducted? Will the BLAG be consulted on strategic decisions related to the litigation?
3. How much taxpayer money will this all cost?
4. What will the House argue in defending DOMA? Will they go back to Congress's 1996 arguments for passing the law - that it is necessary because marriage equality is "a radical, untested and inherently flawed social experiment" and contrary to the "moral conviction that heterosexuality better comports with traditional (especially Judeo-Christian) morality"?
5. The Justice Department stopped defending DOMA because they concluded that laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation should receive a higher level of scrutiny by courts. Will the House Republican leaders disagree? If so, will they argue that gays and lesbians have not suffered a long history of discrimination? That sexual orientation is somehow relevant to an individual's ability to contribute to society, when they have four openly-gay colleagues? That gays and lesbians can change their sexual orientation, a position at odds with every major psychological organization? That gays and lesbians are politically powerful, ironically in defending a law passed by Congress specifically to disadvantage them?
6. Do they think they'll win, especially given that in two DOMA-related cases in Massachusetts, a federal judge appointed by President Nixon has already found Section 3 of DOMA to be unconstitutional even under the lowest level of scrutiny that gives great deference to the legislature?
7. Apart from these cases, will Republican House leadership do anything to address the inequalities that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face?
UPDATE: Here's a video of part of the action from the local Fox News story: