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however, the Justice Department has filed a new brief making clear it believes DOMA is “discriminatory” and should be repealed.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 This brief makes clear, however, that my Administration believes that the Act is discriminatory and should be repealed by Congress.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.
Chris Geidner looks deeper into the brief, concluding, “Those who assert that the Obama Administration did not even need to file a brief will be dissatisfied with the brief because it essentially incorporates the earlier arguments into this reply brief and continues to defend DOMA as a legal matter. But, for those many people who believe that the government, in a situation such as this, does have a responsibility to defend the law, this brief makes clear the distinction between opposing a policy and defending a law.”