The Times They Are a-Changin’: Government Drops DOMA Defense

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The Obama administration announced today that it will no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal law banning recognition of same-sex marriage.

Attorney General Eric Holder said President Obama made the decision. He added that the congressional debate during passage of DOMA “contains numerous expressions reflecting  moral disapproval of gays and lesbians and their intimate and family relationships – precisely the kind of stereotype-based thinking and animus the [Constitution’s] Equal Protection Clause is designed to guard against.”

In fact, Holder said, the law fails to meet “a heightened standard of scrutiny” and is therefore “unconstitutional.”

“Much of the legal landscape has changed in the fifteen years since Congress passed” DOMA, Holder said. The Supreme Court ruled that laws criminalizing homosexual conduct are unconstitutional and Congress repealed the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.

Via Towleroad and  Washington Post.

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