Monday, August 17, 2009

DoJ defends Defense of Marriage Act while also declaring the law should be repealed

This is a legal brief only a lawyer could love. Think Progress presents the story.
The Obama administration has been seeking to dismiss a suit brought by a gay couple in California challenging the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). In June, the Obama Justice Department’s brief defending DOMA infuriated LGBT activists because it referenced incest and child rape when talking about marriage equality. Today, however, the Justice Department has filed a new brief making clear it believes DOMA is “discriminatory” and should be repealed. The White House even put out a statement from Obama on the matter:
Today, the Department of Justice has filed a response to a legal challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, as it traditionally does when acts of Congress are challenged. This brief makes clear, however, that my Administration believes that the Act is discriminatory and should be repealed by Congress. I have long held that DOMA prevents LGBT couples from being granted equal rights and benefits. While we work with Congress to repeal DOMA, my Administration will continue to examine and implement measures that will help extend rights and benefits to LGBT couples under existing law.
So the Department of Justice is doing its job as directed by law. It is presenting a legal defense of the law when the law is challenged in court. But at the same time, they are telling the court that they feel the law itself is wrong and discriminatory and should be repealed by Congress.

Sometimes the Rule of Law works its way out in strange ways.

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