Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Administration Refuses to Defend DOMA
In a surprising move today, the Department of Justice issued a letter saying it will no longer defend the constitutionality of a federal law (DOMA) that bans recognition of same-sex marriage. There are currently several cases making their way through the courts that challenge different sections of DOMA as unconstitutional. In July of 2010, a federal district court ruled that Section 3 of DOMA, the section that defines marriage as one man and one woman, as unconstitutional. The letter issued today means that the administration will not appeal that case. If the courts rule DOMA unconstitutional, married same-sex couples may be eligible for the federal benefits given to married couples.