If history is any indication, Speaker Boehner likely will raise the cap. The majority of the American public supports marriage equality, and the House Republican’s legal case has failed in all five federal courts hearing DOMA cases. Despite this, Boehner has previously raised the cap – which originally stood at $500,000.
HRC Legislative Director Allison Herwitt released the following statement in response to today’s DOMA milestone:
“It’s unbelievable that House Republicans continue to pour taxpayer dollars into a case aimed solely at discriminating against Americans. In poll after poll, we see that voters do not view marriage equality as a critical issue for lawmakers – likely because a good majority of the country already supports it. The American people need job creation and infrastructure improvements.
“Instead of focusing on the real problems that impact people’s livelihood, Speaker Boehner and House Republicans are instead funneling money into an issue that does nothing to improve conditions for the millions of Americans in need of help, and actually harms loving and committed same-sex couples looking to start their own families.”
Under DOMA, even lawfully-married couples are denied access to more than 1,100 rights, benefits and responsibilities under federal law. These include Social Security survivor benefits, federal employee health benefits for spouses, protections against spouses losing their homes in cases of severe medical emergencies, the right to sponsor a foreign born partner for immigration, the guarantee of family and medical leave and the ability to file joint tax returns, among many others.