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
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Wednesday sent a
letter to Congress to inform them that the Justice Department
will now take the position in court that the Defense of
Marriage Act should be struck down as a violation of gay
couples' rights to equal protection under the law.
"The President and I have concluded that classifications
based on sexual orientation warrant heightened scrutiny and
that, as applied to same-sex couples legally married under
state law" a crucial provision of the Defense of Marriage Act
is unconstitutional, Mr. Holder wrote.
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