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After DOMA ruling, few fighting words from congressional GOP on gay marriage

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One might have expected party leaders to offer muted responses, considering that a review of the GOP’s 2012 election effort turned up two chief policy recommendations for the leaders: back off on gay marriage and get to work on immigration reform.

But even usual GOP firebrands like Rep. Steve Scalise (R) of Louisiana, the head of the influential and deeply conservative Republican Study Committee, saw the future of the fight as one to be joined outside the walls of the Capitol.

“By overturning DOMA, the Supreme Court has commandeered the role of voters and their elected representatives, and turned the definition of marriage over to unelected judges where this will now be litigated in the courts for years to come,” Representative Scalise said in a statement.

Not everyone on the right thinks the congressional fight is over, to be sure. Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R) of Kansas, who is a frequent gadfly, told reporters he was working to revive an age-old conservative proposal, a federal marriage amendment, and hopes to formally file a proposal later this week.

(In an equally quixotic venture, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) of California and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D) of New York will file a bill that would repeal the rest of DOMA.)

Democrats, meanwhile, hailed the ruling, which also muted what could have been a difficult debate on the left: what to do about same-sex couples in the immigration system.

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