While NY Readies Gay Marriage Push, GOP Pumps Cash into Defending DOMA

New York gay-rights advocacy groups are joining forces to ready a major push, renewing momentum for marriage equality in the socially liberal but legislatively gridlocked state and hoping to correct past mistakes. This time, they're counting on support from Governor Andrew Cuomo, currently enjoying popularity in the Empire State.  The Advocate's Julie Bolcer writes that the groups, which count  Freedom to Marry,   Empire State Pride Agenda, Human Rights Campaign and Marriage Equality New York among their numbers, are "consolidating" in preparation for an "intense campaign that could lead to the passage of a marriage equality bill by June."

But as New York hopefully heads forward, House Republicans continue their endless march backwards. Amanda Terkel at the Huffington Post reports that "fiscally conservative" House Republicans have taken the bold step of engaging an outside counsel--at taxpayer cost--to defend the indefensible Defense of Marriage Act. 

House Republicans plan to pay former Solicitor General Paul Clement and his legal team from King & Spaulding as much as $500,000 of taxpayer money to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on behalf of House of Representatives, according to a document obtained by the Huffington Post.

"The General Counsel agrees to pay the Contractor for all contractual services rendered a sum not to exceed $500,000.00," the Contract for Legal Services obtained by The Huffington Post says. The cap could be raised "by written agreement between the parties with the approval" of the House, the document states.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at April 20, 2011, 5:58am