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A group of 212 Democrats in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives signed a brief Friday urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, but the same lawmakers, including most from California, did not formally weigh in on a separate case involving Proposition 8.

On Thursday, President Barack Obama urged the court to overturn Proposition 8 and extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in California and several other states.

Earlier this week, a group of more than 100 prominent Republicans also lined up against Proposition 8, including former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, former Rep. Mary Bono Mack and actor Clint Eastwood.

California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, a Los Angeles Democrat, submitted a brief opposing Proposition 8, as did California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Congress passed DOMA in 1996 on a lopsided vote, banning federal recognition of same-sex marriages before any state even had them. Now nine states do, and numerous legal scholars consider the law unconstitutional, and many of its original supporters have called for its repeal.

The California lawmakers signing the brief in the DOMA case, United States v Windsor, include both Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, as well as Reps. Ami Bera and Doris Matsui.

Since California voters approved Proposition 8 in 2008, multiple federal judges have ruled it unconstitutional. Though California's members of Congress didn't file a brief in the case, Hollingsworth v Perry, Jonelle Trimmer, spokeswomen for Bera and Matsui indicated that both lawmakers had similar positions on it.

"The congresswoman has been against Prop. 8 since the beginning and is hopeful that the court rules in favor of equality," said Jonelle Trimmer, a spokeswoman for Matsui.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in both cases later this month.


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