Obama administration will no longer defend DOMA

On Feb. 23, the Obama administration said that it would instruct the Justice Department not to defend the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court. According to domawatch.org, DOMA is defined as “a legal union between one man and one woman for purposes of all federal laws, and provides that states need not recognize a marriage from another state if it is between persons of the same sex.”

Thirty-seven states have their own version of DOMA and two other states use language that defines marriage as between one man and one woman. There are also 30 states, including Arizona, California and Florida, with constitutional amendments that protect traditional marriage.

Attorney General Eric Holder released a statement that said the department will not defend the previous policy because it has been challenged in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. He also went on to say, “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.”

Information for this article is from www.domawatch.org and www.

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