Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Obama To Back DOMA?

Fears are mounting that the Obama administration is about to flip-flop on its opposition to the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Last March, a federal lawsuit was filed in Boston challenging the law which bars the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage. The Justice Department has until June 22 to respond to the lawsuit. So far there has been no comment from either the department or the White House.
The Department of Justice typically defends laws passed by Congress. But during the election campaign, then-candidate Obama pledged to overturn the ban.
A grassroots online campaign called Equal Rep has begun to pressure the administration to keep his campaign promise by asking Attorney General Eric Holder “not to defend this unconstitutional law.” Blogger Emma Ruby-Sachs helped craft the legal memo to Obama, which states in part, “The President reserves the right to refuse to defend an unconstitutional statute. Section 3 of the DOMA is clearly unconstitutional in that it denies married same-sex couples economic benefits granted to heterosexual married couples from the same state without providing a rational basis for this discrimination. ”
The Web site includes a cut-out mailer urging the president not to flip flop on the issue.

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