We're VERY happy to hear this!
The Justice Department has just announced that President Obama believes the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, and he refuses to continue defending it.
Based on Obama's new stance on the act, his administration won't defend ongoing suits in two federal Appeal Courts relating to the act, and he'll "leave it to Congress to defend the law, known as DOMA, against those challenges."
For those unfamiliar, the DOMA law "allows states not to recognize same-sex marriages preformed in other states and provides a federal definition for 'marriage' that excludes same-sex couples."
Here's what Attorney General Eric Holder had to say about Obama's decision:
“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.”
More from Holder about Obama's views on Section 3 of DOMA, which defines “spouse” as a member of the opposite sex:
“[Section 3 of DOMA] 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.”
The DOMA law has not been overturned by Obama's new stance on it, but it's a MAJOR step in the right direction.
Here's what Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese had to say about it:
“This is a monumental decision for the thousands of same-sex couples and their families who want nothing more than the same rights and dignity afforded to other married couples. As the president has stated previously, DOMA unfairly discriminates against Americans and we applaud him for fulfilling his oath to defend critical constitutional principles.”
Thank you, Obama! Next, let's get DOMA overturned!!!
[Image via WENN.]
Tags: defense of marriage act, doma, eric holder, human rights campaign, joe solmonese, justice department, same sex marriage, unconstitutional