Obama Administration withdraws defense of DOMA

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According to the Human Rights Campaign, the Obama Administration announced today that it will withdraw its defense of the “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) in court. DOMA denies federal recognition and benefits to legally married same-sex couples and purports to allow states to deny recognition to those couples as well.

“This is a monumental decision for the thousands of same-sex couples and their families who want nothing more than the same rights and dignity afforded to other married couples,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “As the President has stated previously, DOMA unfairly discriminates against Americans and we applaud him for fulfilling his oath to defend critical constitutional principles.”

DOMA, passed in 1996, denies married same-sex couples over 1,000 rights, benefits and responsibilities tied to marriage under federal law.  These include Social Security survivors’ benefits, family and medical leave, equal compensation as federal employees, and immigration rights.