White House Brief Makes Strong Case for Gay Rights
Urges Supreme Court to kill DOMA, suggests Obama will weigh in on Prop 8 case, too
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2013 6:07 AM CST
A 2012 file photo of Edith Windsor, whose dispute with the IRS has led to a Supreme Court fight on gay rights.   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – The White House looks poised to make a robust defense of gay marriage before the Supreme Court. The first step came yesterday when the Justice Department filed a legal brief urging the court to declare the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, reports CNN. DOMA defines a marriage as a union between a man and a woman and denies federal benefits to gay spouses, even if states grant them. "Moral opposition to homosexuality, though it may reflect deeply held personal views, is not a legitimate policy objective that can justify unequal treatment of gay and lesbian people," said the brief, which concludes that the act violates the Constitution's "fundamental guarantee of equal protection," reports the Huffington Post.

Arguments in the case, involving a New York woman suing the IRS over estate taxes, will be heard next month. (House Republicans have hired a lawyer to defend the government's position because the White House no longer supports DOMA.) Politico notes that the language in the legal brief is so strong and "sweeping" that it suggests the White House is going to weigh in on a second case before the court next month, that one on the legality of California's Prop 8, which banned same-sex marriage. The White House must decide by Thursday on whether to do so. Click for the full text of the legal brief.

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Showing 3 of 66 comments
Plato
Feb 25, 2013 12:06 AM CST
I predict that most of you are going to be surprised by the Supreme Courts ruling. I predict that DOMA will be ruled constitutional. If homosexual non traditional "marriages" were to result in the legal right for them to receive all the Federal, State and employers benefits that are now and were originally established for traditional man and wife traditional marriages then we have a can of worms. Beer drinking buddies will "marry" to obtain these established benefits. Two lady hair dressers will realize that if they get "married" they will be legally entitled to man and wife benefits. There will be all sorts of "we are married" scenarios.
NoFun
Feb 23, 2013 11:43 PM CST
That sound is the wall starting to fall. The bigot's world just got a bit smaller.
DougMasters
Feb 23, 2013 2:33 PM CST
No strong case should be needed for gay rights as there never was a strong case against them in the first place. The fact the govt has to make a strong case for says a lot about the bigotry that exists in politics. We have all these budget issues and the govt has to spend time on this? Something that should have been a non-issue? Senseless. Fix it govt so you never have to spend time on it again.