On Wednesday, February 23, 2011 the Obama Administration's Department of Justice announced that it will no longer defend Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in federal court.
Section 3 of the law prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages that are legally performed under state law. The DOJ now says that sexual orientation should be viewed under "heightened scrutiny" in federal court cases. This would put sexual orientation on par with race or gender.
This is a huge development in the march toward equal rights for gay and lesbian citizens under law. The US Supreme court has struck down discriminatory laws already in Romer v. Evans and Lawrence v. Texas and even upheld a Hasting Law School's non-discrimination policy in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez just last summer.
The tide is turning in favor of equal treatment for gays and lesbians. Now the Executive Branch of government is respecting recent Supreme Court cases and stating that anti-gay discrimination is unconstitutional.
Please urge your state legislature to pass a resolution supporting the Obama Administration's efforts to overturn this discriminatory law.
Photo Credit: elcivics.com
The DOJ also stated that sexual orientation should be viewed under the "heightened scrutiny" standard. This would automatically hold that any discrimination against sexual orientation is unconstitutional unless there is a compelling government interest to treat sexual orientation differently.
We ask you to pass a resolution that supports the Attorney General Eric Holder's announcement that it will not defend DOMA in court. Equal treatment under law is a long-held America value. The federal government must respect all marriages.
Thank you for supporting equal treatment under the law!