(Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images)

House Republican leaders withdrew Thursday from defending the Defense of Marriage Act and similar statutes in a court case in Massachusetts, citing the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the gay-marriage ban.

In a court filing, the House's Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, which played a lead role in attempting to force the Obama administration to enforce DOMA and is controlled by Republicans, said it is withdrawing from McLaughlin v. Panetta — a case in which gay members of the U.S. military challenged the constitutionality of the law and similar statutes when it comes to spousal benefits.