President Obama, in a “major legal policy shift, has directed the Justice Department to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act — the 1996 law that bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages — against lawsuits challenging it as unconstitutional,” the New York Times reports.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday saying that the Justice Department will now take the position in court that the act should be struck down as a violation of same-sex couples’ rights to equal protection under the law.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) issued a statement today indicating that it is her “intention to introduce legislation that will once and for all repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.”
“My own belief is that when two people love each other and enter the contract of marriage, the Federal government should honor that.
I opposed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. It was the wrong law then; it is the wrong law now; and it should be repealed.”