In a move in support of gay marriage and LGBT equality rights across the country, the Obama Administration has announced that it will no longer be defending the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law passed 15 years ago that defines marriage as being that between a man and woman. What this means for “laws” like Proposition 8 is yet to be seen.
Citing the law as unconstitutional, President Obama instructed Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice to stopping defending the federal ban in court.
According to an AP report, “The attorney general said the department will immediately bring the policy change to the attention of two federal courts now hearing separate lawsuits targeting the Defense of Marriage Act.
One case, in Connecticut, challenges the federal government’s denial of marriage-related protections for federal Family Medical Leave Act benefits, federal laws for private pension plans and federal laws concerning state pension plans. In the other case in New york City, the federal government refused to recognize the marriage of two women and taxed the inheritance that one of the women left to the other as though the two were strangers. Under federal tax law, a spouse who dies can leave her assets, including the family home, to the other spouse without incurring estate taxes.”