The Obama administration will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court, it announced today--and it appears President Obama himself made the decision.
The 1996 law federally defines marriage as existing only between a man and a woman and is being challenged in two lawsuits. Early in Obama's tenure, the decision to uphold the Clinton-era law was a source of frustration for gay-rights activists who had supported Obama during his 2008 election bid.
This paragraph suggests of the Justice Dept.'s announcement suggests it wasn't just Holder who decided the department would drop its defense--but that Obama had a direct role:
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.
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