Pelosi: Opposing DOMA Is Honoring the Constitution

By Elizabeth Harrington | March 27, 2013 | 2:22pm EDT

President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

( – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday she and President Barack Obama are “honoring the Constitution” by opposing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

“And given a choice I think we would all say we’re honoring, as the president does, the Constitution,” Pelosi said, after she attended the second day of oral arguments before the Supreme Court on two key same sex marriage cases.

“When you pass a bill in the House, as we did with the health care bill, we made it iron clad constitutionally,” the California congresswoman said.

“You have a responsibility to honor the Constitution,” she said. “In fact, we take an oath to do just that, and that is the oath that President Obama is upholding.

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“We weigh equities,” Pelosi continued. “Congress passes a bill. It’s questionable in terms of constitutionality. There’s no question about your oath to the Constitution of the United States, and the behavior of the Republicans in the House of Representatives on this subject has been so irresponsible.

“First of all, why in this time would you pass a bill that increases discrimination?” she said. “We’re going in the direction of the arc of Justice [Henry L.] Benning in favor of more justice not more discrimination. Why would you do such a thing in the first place?

“And then when it is questioned in terms of its constitutionality to spend money in the tune of millions outside the regular order of how that money should be spent to defend increasing discrimination in our society, it’s just plain wrong,” Pelosi added.

“And given a choice I think we would all say we’re honoring, as the president does, the Constitution,” she said.

Pelosi said she is “very optimistic” that DOMA will be ruled unconstitutional after hearing the oral arguments, adding that in general same-sex marriage is “inevitable.”

“From our beautiful place in San Francisco, the city of St. Francis, we knew that it was inevitable that all of this would happen,” she said. “It was inconceivable to others that it would, and it was our job to use whatever influence we could have to shorten the distance between the inevitable and the inconceivable.”

“And I think that’s what’s happening at the court because of many people’s courage, especially those directly, personally affected,” Pelosi said.

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