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See What the DOJ is Doing with DOMA

July 5, 2011
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Lambda Legal announced that the Department of Justice has not only stopped defending the Defense of Marriage Act but actually argued in federal court that DOMA is unconstitutional in a case brought before the federal courts by Lambda Legal and Morrison & Foerster on behalf of Karen Golinski.  This is a landmark change in the Obama Administration’s DOJ.  For the first time they’re arguing that DOMA is unconstitutional and should not be upheld in discriminating against the rights of LGBT married couples.

(San Francisco, July 5, 2011)—On Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a brief strongly arguing that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional in a case brought by Lambda Legal and Morrison & Foerster LLP on behalf of Karen Golinski, a lesbian federal court employee denied medical coverage for her wife, whom she married when same-sex couples could do so in California. The DOJ had previously announced they would no longer defend DOMA, but this is the first legal filing in the country in which they have fully argued to a court that DOMA is unconstitutional. They asked the federal court not to dismiss Golinski’s claim.

The law is still being defended by legal counsel hired by the leadership of the House of Representatives.

“DOMA is unconstitutional and there are no reasonable arguments left to defend it,” said Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Tara Borelli who is representing Golinski. “The government itself has now forcefully argued that the marriages of same-sex couples cannot be treated as different and inferior under the law, and that any laws that treat lesbian and gay people differently must be reviewed with heightened scrutiny and presumed to be unconstitutional. Lambda Legal has been arguing that for years—it’s great to have them on our side. The Department of Justice is living up to its name in seeking to uphold the constitutional guarantee of equality for lesbian and gay people.

via Lambda Legal: DOJ Delivers Powerful Critique of DOMA in Lambda Legal Case.