Thursday, February 24, 2011

U.S. Drops Defense of Law Against Gay Marriage

Wall Street Journal
February 23, 2011

The Obama administration said Wednesday that it would not defend the constitutionality of a 1996 federal law that defines marriage as the union of a man and woman, after two years making the opposite argument.

The legal turnabout marks a contrast with the Justice Department's position in recent years that it generally is obligated to defend federal laws, even when the administration opposes them.

The administration made that assertion in defending the law that previously banned openly gay people from serving in the U.S. military. Congress has since repealed the "don't ask, don't tell" law.

President Barack Obama decided to stop defending the marriage law after considering "a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination," the Justice Department said.


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