US Executive Branch finds Defense of Marriage Act Unconstitutional
President Obama and the DOJ after carefully studying the Defense of Marriage Act have found key sections of the Amendment unconstitutional and have decided they will no longer defend DOMA in federal court. Several court cases are in stream within the Federal Court system. While this shift in view is more political than legal (It doesn’t negate the law and the administration will continue to enforce it) it opens the door for the federal judicial process to make a decision once and for all.
In a major shift on gay rights, the Obama administration said that it would no longer oppose legal challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, just two months after Congress and the president agreed to repeal the military’s ban on openly gay service members.
Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a letter to Congress on Wednesday that the administration had determined that the act, which was passed by Congress in 1996, discriminated against gays and therefore could no longer be accepted as reasonable. Holder said that Congress may wish to appoint its own lawyers to defend the law, which bars the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages or extending them the same benefits granted to heterosexual unions.
Holder said the administration would continue to enforce the law until a final ruling was made, most likely by the Supreme Court.
- Obama Declares The Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) Unconstitutional (buzzfeed.com)
- Obama to DOJ: Stop defending Defense of Marriage Act in court (shortformblog.tumblr.com)
- Senate Dem to Introduce Repeal of “Defense of Marriage Act … (politics.blogs.foxnews.com)