WASHINGTON – In a major policy reversal, the Obama Administration said yesterday it will no longer defend the constitutionality of a law banning recognition of same-sex marriage.
Attorney-General Eric Holder said President Barack Obama had concluded that the Administration could not defend the federal law that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman.
He noted that the congressional debate over the Defence of Marriage Act “contains numerous expressions reflecting moral disapproval of gays and lesbians and their intimate and family relationships – precisely the kind of stereotype-based thinking and animus” the US constitution is designed to guard against.
The Justice Department had defended the act in court until now.
Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, called the policy change “a tremendous step towards recognising 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.”