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. Jeff

    Thank you Mr. President! Good job!

    February 23, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  2. SearchingForAnAthiestExtremist

    About time.

    February 23, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  3. Welcome to Reality

    From ignoring our border security problem, to refusing to defend existing laws (such as Defense of Marriage Act), it seems this President has (embarassingly) decided to pick and choose which laws to enforce. That, coupled with astronomical spending sprees, record trade defecits, nation wide budget deficits in every state, historical losses without comparison in the 2010 elections, and finally – the "signature" legislation being an unconstitutional health care law – it's no wonder that many desperate Americans simply want 2012 to come quickly to vote out this Administration!

    February 23, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. Tricky Nick

    I can't wait now I can marry my great Dane Max. It will be a same sex but different species marriage

    February 23, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  5. aworker

    So, what exactly does this mean?

    February 23, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  6. Michaela

    This is very good news to hear.(:

    February 23, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  7. AndyTheGameInventor

    This is a brave stance on the president's part. DOMA serves no purpose other than to a marginalize a group of citizens by legislating the religious convictions of a group of people who are not affected by the act. It's frustrating to see how the very names given to our legislation have become a sort of propaganda. I guess FOHA (Fear of Homosexuality Act) didn't have the same ring to it.

    February 23, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  8. Paul ny http://www.youtube.com/ny007ny

    No hateful people from the bible belt trolling around here yet? WHat is the miracle?

    February 23, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  9. Barbara

    President Obama does not represent me in this matter I am embarassed by his abuse of authority

    February 23, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  10. deuce

    About time...

    February 23, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. Drew Faber

    Does this mean he is or is not in favor for same sex marriage?

    February 23, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  12. duke

    If the justice department wanted to do its job it would arrest every member of the bush administration instead of relying on other countries to do it for them!!
    So like the supreme "right wing"court,
    Justice you get a bigfat,
    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

    February 23, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  13. Patchw3rk

    This is a great day for the civil rights cause!

    February 23, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. Me

    YAY!

    February 23, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  15. Proud American

    Finally.

    February 23, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  16. Smeagel4T

    Another big win for the Tea Party!!! Less interference in state's right! Get used to it people. More Tea Party solutions coming every day!

    February 23, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. Rachel

    Score one for equality! I know there are already federal cases out there in the court system.

    So, who, if anyone, has standing to defend DOMA?

    February 23, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  18. Sorry, comment section is now closed!

    He will need all the special interest votes he can muster in November.

    February 23, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  19. Tobi McCauley

    Thank you President Obama! As a worker and tax payer of this great nation, I would greatly appreciate equal rights for my family.

    February 23, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  20. Daniel Kintz

    Homosexuality is defined by sex. Period. It cannot be defined by marriage. It cannot be defined by children. Homosexuality is defined by sexual intercourse. Heterosexuality is defined by God.

    February 23, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  21. Petercakes

    :)

    February 23, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  22. John

    Wow

    February 23, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  23. d.

    God created adam and eve. -not adam and steve. read about homosexuality in the bible and how god see's it. why are they seeking permision from man when god said do not.

    February 23, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  24. Isaac

    Now I am really suprise that President Obama is moving in the direction of redefining marriage.It is a sad day for America.Marriage is between a man and woman and no matter who tries to change be it the president or not,the American people will defend this sacred institution.

    February 23, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  25. Spending our Way to Financial Collapse

    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."
    ==============================================================================

    Silly me... and hear I thought it was the role of the US Supreme Court to decide whether something was unconstitutional!! It appears this administration doesn't seem obligated to consulting them per our Constitution. These people are a danger to this country and must be removed in 2012.

    February 23, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
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