February 24, 2013 Leave a comment
After some speculation over whether or not President Obama would address the upcoming Supreme Court showdown over the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, the administration has filed a historic brief arguing that the law is, indeed, unconstitutional.
“Solicitor General Donald Verrilli says that Section 3 of DOMA, which defines “spouse” and “marriage” under federal law as only those marriages between one man and one woman, is unconstitutional, BuzzFeed’s Chris Geidner reported Friday, moments after the brief had been filed.
According to NPR, “The brief formally asks the court to declare unconstitutional a specific part of DOMA called Section 3. That’s the part that bars recognition of same-sex marriages for purposes of federal benefits such as income taxes or federal employee benefits. The brief points out that there are more than 1,000 federal statues and programs that come into play depending on a person’s marital status.”
As for leaving the matter of same-gender marriage up to voters,”The Obama administration’s brief disputes that position, stating several reasons why letting voters decide on the legal status of same-sex marriage is inappropriate. It sites the long history of discrimination gays and lesbians have faced; that sexual orientation bears no relation to the ability to contribute to society; and that sexual orientation is a core part of identity with broad scientific evidence that it is not a voluntary choice,” the radio network says.
Geidner goes on to report,”in addition to Friday’s administration brief on the constitutional merits of DOMA, the administration, BLAG and Windsor’s lawyers all filed briefs Friday regarding jurisdictional questions about whether the Department of Justice’s decision not to defend Section 3 of DOMA means that the court has no controversy to resolve and whether BLAG has the constitutional authority to be a party to the case.”
The court is set to hear the case on March 27th, a day after it hears arguments in the Prop 8 case.