Off The Record: On Religion, Politics & Equality
After careful consideration, including a review of my recommendation, the President has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny. The President has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional. Given that conclusion, the President has instructed the Department not to defend the statute in such cases. I fully concur with the President’s determination.
The language and intent of this DOJ statement is clear – DOMA is unconstitutional – but this does not undo DOMA. Congress would have to do that via legislation. However, it is a stake in the ground that Obama has finally thrown down. The administration will not defend DOMA legislation.
Talk about a well-timed punch to the right-wing culture warriors trying to break unions, end same-sex marriage and abolish abortion.
The National Journal has a good piece on this here.