Obama declares Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional

The president orders the Department of Justice to stop defending Defense of Marriage Act in court

Topics: Gay Marriage, Barack Obama, Department of Justice, War Room,

Obama declares Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionalSame sex couple Terese Rowe (C) and Kristin Orbin wait to receive a marriage license application prior to a judge lifting the Proposition 8 stay on same sex marriages at City Hall in San Francisco, California August 12, 2010. A U.S. federal judge on Thursday ruled that legal marriages of same-sex couples may resume next week in California, pending the appeal of his earlier decision that overturned a voter-approved ban on gay matrimony. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY IMAGES OF THE DAY) (Credit: © Robert Galbraith / Reuters)

According to National Journal, President Obama has declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. The administration made the announcement a few minutes ago and will alert Congress later today:

“The President believes that DOMA is unconstitutional. They are no longer going to be defending the cases in the 1st and 2nd circuits,” a person briefed on the decision said.

Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed the report in a statement to the press:



After careful consideration, including a review of my recommendation, the President has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny. The President has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional. Given that conclusion, the President has instructed the Department not to defend the statute in such cases. I fully concur with the President’s determination.



Read full coverage at National Journal

Adam Clark Estes blogs the news for Salon. Email him at ace@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @adamclarkestes

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