Today, House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution Chairman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) called for a hearing on "Defending Marriage," which is scheduled to take place on April 15.
The website for the House Judiciary Committee notes that the hearing will be held at 10 a.m. that day and is being held "By Direction of the Chairman."
Committee press secretary Charlotte Sellmyer told Metro Weekly in an email only that "[w]e release witness and background info one day prior to the hearing." She did not respond to a follow-up email asking why the chairman called for the hearing at this time.
On March 9, the House Republican leadership voted to direct the House general counsel to defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court, in the wake of the administration's Feb. 23 decision that it would no longer defend Section 3 of DOMA -- the federal definition of marriage -- in court challenges to its constitutionality.
Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese said in a statement, "The Republican Party, and House Republicans in particular, seem to be fixated on beating up on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. The government is on the brink of shutting down, yet Republicans are still hell-bent on wasting tax-payer dollars fighting battles out of step with the American people's priorities."