Justice Department to Stop Prosecuting DOMA Cases

President Obama now says the law--which defines marriage as between a man and a woman--is unconstitutional

This article is from the archive of our partner .

The Obama administration has told the Justice Department to stop prosecuting cases related to the Defense of Marriage Act, which says that states don't have to recognize the gay marriages performed by other states and that the federal definition of marriage is between a man and a woman, National Journal's Marc Ambinder reports. President Obama thinks the law is unconstitutional.

The decision is a big victory for gay rights, though the administration's progress on an earlier such success--repealing the ban on gays in the military--has been slow. Congress ended Don't Ask Don't Tell in December, and though Obama celebrated the vote, the Justice Department will likely file a defense of the policy in federal court in California this week, The New York Times' John Schwartz reports.

Schwartz likens DADT to a "legal zombie--dead but still walking around." Why? Because the law's repeal included a measure that said DADT would not be officially dead until 60 days after the Pentagon certifies that the military is ready for the change. That means that the federal case, filed by the Log Cabin Republicans, will continue to work its way through the court.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.