ByÂ Marc Ambinder, National Journal
President Obama has decided that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and has asked his Justice Department to stop defending it in court, the administration announced today.
“The President believes that DOMA is unconstitutional. They are no longer going to be defending the cases in the 1st and 2nd circuits,” a person briefed on the decision said.
The administration will formally notify Congress later today. The act sought to restrict single-sex unions.
The President has won favor with the gay community recently by winning a repeal of the militaryâ€™s â€œDonâ€™t ask, donâ€™t tell,â€ policy, which was passed during the lame duck Congress in December. At that time, he reiterated his support for repealing the DOMA, passed under President Clinton in 1996, but did not take further steps toward repeal.
His administration defended the law as recently as January, when the Justice Department defended the law against a ruling that said it violated the rights of states to set their own marriage policies.
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