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Obama administration drops defense of traditional marriage

Catholic World News - February 23, 2011

The Obama administration will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman, Attorney General Eric Holder has announced.

The Justice Department traditionally defends all federal laws against court challenges. But Holder said that if no "reasonable" defense is available, his department does not offer such defense. In the case of the DOMA law, he said, no "reasonable" defense is possible.

In his February 23 announcement, Holder said that President Obama had changed his views on DOMA, and "concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny." He said that the President concluded the DOMA legislation "fails to meet that standards and is therefore unconstitutional."

Although the administration believes the law to be unconstitutional, Holder said, the executive branch will continue to enforce the law until it is repealed by Congress or overturned by the courts.

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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: wojo425627 - Feb. 24, 2011 8:19 AM ET USA

    This is a defining moment in our history. If DOMA gets dropped we'll be well on our way to loss of traditional Judeo-Christian and Roman law and moving into fairy land where anything goes. Where mood and sentiment rule the land rather than logic and common sense.

  • Posted by: dmva9806 - Feb. 23, 2011 9:02 PM ET USA

    Not until our bishops are appointed by executive orders. That's about all that is left to do to complete the Americanization of the church.

  • Posted by: jimpoc8837 - Feb. 23, 2011 3:39 PM ET USA

    n. oxymoron - def. Anyone who voted for Barack Obama and still claims to be a Catholic.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Feb. 23, 2011 2:18 PM ET USA

    All you Catholics who voted for Obama: you happy yet?

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