Obama Administration Once Again Defends DOMA While Calling for Its Repeal
Denise Lavoie of the Associated Press reported today about the Justice Department's response to a Massachusetts lawsuit seeking to overturn portions of DOMA, the law that bans federal recognition of gay marriage.
The government defended the law, but at the same time called for its repeal:
In court documents, the Justice Department makes it clear the Obama administration thinks the law is discriminatory and should be repealed. But the department, calling the law “constitutionally permissible,” said it has an obligation to defend federal laws when they are challenged in court.
This stance isn't new. The department did the same thing a month ago in a different case.
While the government's stance may frustrate people disappointed with the Obama administration's (non) efforts to repeal the law, the government is correct here. The executive branch cannot pick and choose which laws it defends in court. Ultimately it is up to Congress to change the law.
Still, the government's tone in the brief is much different now than compared to June. Back then, a Justice Department brief in another case compared homosexuality to incest and made no comments about wanting to see the law overturned. The outrage at that brief probably led to the change in tone here.