Boehner: We'll Defend the Defense of Marriage Act House GOP to hire lawyer to pick up slack from Obama By Nick McMaster, Newser Staff Posted Mar 4, 2011 4:59 PM CST 46 comments Comments House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, right followed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. arrive for a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (Newser) – If Barack Obama won't fight for the Defense of Marriage Act, Congressional Republicans will do it for him, John Boehner announced today. House leaders will appoint a lawyer to argue for the 1996 law, which prevents the federal government from recognizing gay marriages, the LA Times reports. "It is regrettable that the Obama administration has opened this divisive issue," Boehner said. "The constitutionality of this law should be determined by the courts — not by the president unilaterally."