Obama DOJ files DOMA defense brief in First Circuit cases

Posted on 13 Jan 2011 at 9:14pm

This is no surprise, as the Obama administration announced last year it would defend the Defense of Marriage Act in regards to Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Massachusetts v. United States, which addresses section of the DOMA regarding federal benefits to same-sex married couples. The brief is here. (The Wonk Room):

The Obama administration announced its intention to defend DOMA in October of 2010 and today filed a brief arguing that “DOMA is rationally related to legitimate governmental interests.” The government maintained that Congress enacted the law during an era of upheaval to maintain “uniformity on the federal level” and allow states the flexibility to expand the definition of marriage as they see fit:
By passing DOMA, Congress sought to preserve the status quo understanding of marriage in federal law as limited to opposite-sex couples while preserving the authority of individual states to engage in a period of evaluation of and experience with a new definition of marriage that is open to same-sex couples. Congress could rationally conclude that maintaining the status quo at the federal level during a period of change would allow states that wish to make changes in the legal definition of marriage to retain their inherent prerogative to do so, while permitting others to maintain their existing view, both by declining to authorize same-sex marriages in the first instance under their own laws and by declining to recognize such marriages that are approved under the laws of other states.

At MetroWeekly, Chris Geidner has more.
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