Task Force applauds the Obama administration’s decision to no longer defend DOMA
The Task Force applauds the Obama administration’s announcement today calling on the Department of Justice not to defend the discriminatory, so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA). In a letter to Congress and a statement released today, Attorney General Eric Holder concluded that classifications based on sexual orientation warrant heightened scrutiny, and that section 3 of DOMA is therefore unconstitutional:
Much of the legal landscape has changed in the 15 years since Congress passed DOMA. The Supreme Court has ruled that laws criminalizing homosexual conduct are unconstitutional. Congress has repealed the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Several lower courts have ruled DOMA itself to be unconstitutional. Section 3 of DOMA will continue to remain in effect unless Congress repeals it or there is a final judicial finding that strikes it down, and the President has informed me that the Executive Branch will continue to enforce the law. But while both the wisdom and the legality of Section 3 of DOMA will continue to be the subject of both extensive litigation and public debate, this Administration will no longer assert its constitutionality in court.
Statement by National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey on today’s announcement:
The decision by the Obama administration not to defend the discriminatory, so-called ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ is a tremendous step toward recognizing our common humanity and ending an egregious injustice against thousands of loving, committed couples who simply want the protections, rights and responsibilities afforded other married couples. We thank the Obama administration for having the integrity to recognize that this law should not be defended in court. Discrimination has no place in our society, and DOMA has only served to belittle our country’s deeply held values of freedom and fairness. It’s time to end DOMA once and for all.