If President Obama and the U.S. Department of Justice no longer want to defend the Defense of Marriage Act from challenges by gay rights activists, who will?

Leading conservative law firms say they’re eager to defend the 1996 law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman, but that may not be so easy.

Could a conservative firm like Liberty Counsel, a Florida-based group that often opposes the administration, be the stand-in for the U.S. attorney general before a judge hearing DOMA challenges?

“That’s what we’re pursuing,” said Mathew Staver, founder of the firm and dean of Liberty University School of Law. “Somebody has to step in and do the job when the attorney general and the president will abandon theirs.”

Liberty Counsel had filed friend-of-the-court briefs in two DOMA court cases and is now strategizing with members of Congress to intervene on their behalf to defend the law that bans federal recognition of same-sex marriages.

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