(Great news, thank you President Obama! – promoted by lowkell)
As the parent of a Lesbian, I am thankful that President Obama through the Justice Department has decided not to defend Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. Below are two excerpts from the DOJ press release on the subject.
After careful consideration, including a review of my recommendation, the President has 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. The President has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional. Given that conclusion, the President has instructed the Department not to defend the statute in such cases. I fully concur with the President’s determination.
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 Congress has repealed the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.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.
My daughter and her wife have held a civil ceremony which, of course, is not recognized in Virginia. They made the trip from Central Virginia to DC a couple of weeks ago and applied for a license to be legally married. The ceremony will occur next week. Again, of course, Virginia will not recognize their marriage. However, progress is being made and I am happy to acknowledge those who stand up for my family.
I can only imagine what kind of uproar the actions taken today by the President and DOJ will cause among the Right, but I am thankful that our President is recognizing basic human rights of our gay and lesbian citizens.