US gov't drops defense of anti-gay marriage law

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 23, 2011 21:06

 
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WASHINGTON — In a major policy reversal, the Obama administration said Wednesday it will no longer defend the constitutionality of a US law banning recognition of same-sex marriage.

Attorney General Eric Holder said President Barack Obama has concluded that the administration cannot defend the federal law that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. He noted that the congressional debate during passage of the Defense of Marriage Act "contains numerous expressions reflecting moral disapproval of gays and lesbians and their intimate and family relationships — precisely the kind of stereotype-based thinking and animus the (US Constitution's )Equal Protection Clause is designed to guard against."

The Justice Department had defended the act in court until now.

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