Obama Admin. Drops Support of Fed Marriage Law

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The U.S. Justice Department announced Wednesday it will not continue to support the Defense of Marriage Act that specifically defined marriage on a federal level as the union between one man and one woman.

Attorney General Eric Holder said President Barack Obama felt the administration could no longer defend the law because it violates the constitutional rights of homosexuals.

What can be made of this policy reversal? Peggy Nance with Concerned Women for America, has more, following this report.

"Much of the legal landscape has changed in the 15 years since Congress passed DOMA," Holder said. "The Supreme Court has ruled that laws criminalizing homosexual conduct are unconstitutional. Congress has repealed the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy. (And) several lower courts have ruled DOMA itself to be unconstitutional."

Two court cases challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act were recently filed in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The cases, however, fall in a judicial district without precedent on the issue -- forcing the Obama administration to make a decision.

"The administration will not defend the Defense of Marriage Act in the 2nd Circuit," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

"Furthermore, the president directed the attorney general not to defend because of the decision that it is not constitutional -- the Defense of Marriage Act in any other circuit, in any other case," he said.

Jordan Sekulow, director of international operations for the American Center for Law and Justice, said he believes President Obama doesn't have the power to make such a decision.

"President Obama, he's not a king. He can't go around and say, 'You know what, Eric Holder and I decided it's not constitutional so we're not going to defend a law of the country anymore,'" Sekulow told CBN News.

He added that he sees more controversy ahead for the disputed law.

"Imagine a civil rights law, the voting rights law for instance," Sekulow continued. "And a president comes into office after the law is signed and says, "I don't like this anymore. So we're just not going to defend it anymore when the KKK challenges it in court."

Currently gay marriage is legal in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Iowa and the District of Columbia.

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.