Wednesday, February 23, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Obama Orders End to Defense of DOMA

I heard it on NPR as I was coming back this morning from a quick run to the grocery store for the bay leaf I needed for the soup I'm making. (Yes, sometimes I stop blogging long enough to cook! :) And then when I checked online there was this "News Alert" from the NYTimes:
WASHINGTON — President Obama, in a major legal policy shift, has directed the Justice Department to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act — the 1996 law that bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages — against lawsuits challenging it as unconstitutional.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday saying that the Justice Department will now take the position in court that the Defense of Marriage Act should be struck down as a violation of gay couples’ rights to equal protection under the law.

“The President and I have concluded that classifications based on sexual orientation warrant heightened scrutiny and that, as applied to same-sex couples legally married under state law,” a crucial provision of the act is unconstitutional, Mr. Holder wrote.
You can read the rest here ... and I'm sure there will be more news to come. But for the moment [a] let us rejoice and be glad in "another inch" reclaimed on that journey toward liberty and justice for all and [b] let us remember what our mothers taught us about good manners and thank you notes and send a note of appreciation to the White House post-haste ... you can click here to do that ... because you know for fact-certain he'll be hearing from the marriage discrimination crowd!
Ready. Set. GO!


IT said...


I'm a Gay Married Californian whose legal marriage evaporates out of state.

But this means that eventually, my legal marriage will be treated the same as any other legal marriage by the Fed. As it should be.

Not there yet....but eventually.

Lerewayah said...

Thank you note duly written! Thanks for the reminder, Rev. Susan.

Gretchen R. Chateau
GALAS, All Saints' Atlanta

Muthah+ said...


IT said...

Let's be clear that htis does NOT overturn DOMA-- it simply says that they will not defend section 3 in federal court.

Only Congress or SCOTUS can overturn it.

Bruce said...

I'm not sure which of the recent posts this best fits under, so here it goes: From a "conservative" strict constructionist viewpoint, any restriction on marriage based on gender runs afoul of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. There is no "compelling state interest" in granting marriage to one group of citizens to the exclusion of another group, based solely on gender. Accordingly, any such restriction must fail. I think this is what the California Supreme Court said before Prop. 8.
I cannot see how the U.S. Supreme Court can decide differently.


And you learned that at Pepperdine, right ... so it MUST be true!! :)

JCF said...

I bet Scalia, Thomas, Alito and (probably) Roberts decide differently...

...but I have high hopes for the remaining 5!