Justice Department will no longer defend DOMA in legal challenges
February 23rd, 2011
12:38 PM ET
3 years ago

Justice Department will no longer defend DOMA in legal challenges

Washington (CNN)– President Barack Obama has ordered the Justice Department to stop defending the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as only between a man and woman, according to a statement Wednesday from Attorney General Eric Holder.

"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," Holder said.

The key provisions in the law "fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional."

"Given that conclusion, the president has instructed the (Justice Department) not to defend the statute" in two pending cases in New York state, Holder said. "I fully concur with the president's determination."


Filed under: Gay rights • Uncategorized
soundoff (168 Responses)
  1. Tulsa

    Bravo.

    February 23, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  2. ConservaFascists

    This should get those righties panties in a bunch. They are going to go ballistic over this.

    February 23, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  3. Spending our Way to Financial Collapse

    Yes, they must devote all of their resources to suing the states for enforcing the immigration laws (which they choose NOT to enforce) and to force us all to buy the products they think we need to buy (unconstituionally).

    These people have GOT TO GO IN 2012!!!!

    February 23, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  4. Reality

    Thank God. Ridiculous behavior in supporting that. Yay Obama and sane thinking individuals!

    February 23, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. N. Turner in Atlanta

    Wow. This is big news. Heads are about to explode on the right.

    February 23, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. gt

    and just when america thought he was going to the center......

    February 23, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. Joker

    Its a start

    February 23, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. from MI

    Stay out of the JUSTICE deparment Obama!!!!! You are the legislative branch and have NO RIGHT to tell them what to do! US POLITICS 101, SEPARATION OF POWERS!

    February 23, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. mom2boys

    It't about time. DOMA needs to go.

    February 23, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. Chancey

    You mean there's a budget crisis, teachers striking in WI, unrest in Libya, earthquakes in NZ....and THIS is the most important topic for Obama to bring up?

    Someone is distinctly OUT OF TOUCH

    February 23, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. vern beam

    obama is the destroing the amercian why his has proven to be a muslin and has his own angenda now he need to take a stand on gay marrage id he stands for holy bible gay marrage is a abonamation and wrong anywhere i wont serve unless gay are out of serive

    February 23, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  12. Me

    Thank you, Mr. President!

    February 23, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  13. New Age Independant

    So now Obama thinks he's in charge of the Judicial System? Really? Has he completely lost his mind? I thought he was just misguided by the radical liberals in his party, now I'm begging to think he's just an idiot.

    February 23, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. terry, va

    Obummie is on track to DESTROY this nation morally and financially. He is a complete idiot that needs to move to San Fran. or out of the country.

    February 23, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    I'm all for this, but I question what legitimate power the executive branch has to order something like this.

    February 23, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. Obama 2012

    Great. The only "rational" argument against this is based in religion. Since your religion need not be forced on everyone, let people who want to marry get married.

    February 23, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  17. NameSandra Eddy

    That's my President! Equality for all is the only way to be an American.

    February 23, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  18. madoshi.net

    Its funny because the same group of people who thing government should be smaller and stay out of everyone's lives...will be here complaining that Obama is ruining christianity and will probably call him a muslim terrorist. Cue hypocrisy in 3...2...1...

    February 23, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  19. KRS1

    OH NO! How dare the feds grant equal rights to homosexuals. REPUBLICANS UNITE, IT'S TIME TO FREAK OUT!

    February 23, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  20. S.positive

    As a supporter of the POTUS, this is not smart at all and though it is everyone's right to do what they want, Just stay out of it and let them so people slug it out.

    February 23, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  21. NK1977

    Last I checked the Executive Branch of Government existed to enforce laws, not ejudicate them. If Obama can not do his job as defined by the Constitution, then he should resign or be impeached.

    February 23, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  22. Bob Flowers

    Civics lesson for our President: There are three branches of government. The President is in the Executive Branch . . . NOT the legislative or judicial branch.

    February 23, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. Joel

    Great!

    February 23, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  24. Lindsay

    What?! R-A-N-D-O-M!

    Um, priorities? Have you seen what's going on in the world lately? And in the US economy?

    February 23, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  25. Billy

    Do we still live in a nation of laws or one where the judges and elected officials change the rules as it pleases them?

    February 23, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
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