Last week, President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the anti-gay-marriage act, DOMA, is unconstitutional and the justice department will cease to defend it. It both pleased a large faction of Obama's base, and also seems like a very clever bit of politicking, since now the Republican dominated house will be forced to defend DOMA or let it slide and anger their super-conservative base.
Unsurprisingly, they chose option A: House Speaker John Boehner announced today that the House of Representatives will defend the Defense Against Marriage Act. The party will be forced to defend Clinton-era legislation in court, in what promises to be a long and drawn-out legal battle. And, if I may make a prediction, they'll lose. Historically, civil-rights legislation has moved in one direction. Plus, majority of Americans already support gay marriage, and that number's growing.
That does not, however, mean that defending DOMA will be without short-term political gain for the Republican Party, at least among a hard-line conservative set.