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Obama declares Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional

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


Adam Clark Estes
February 23, 2011 10:24PM (UTC)

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:

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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

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

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