White House Urges Court to Uphold Gay Marriage
Justice Department weighs in on California's Prop 8 case
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2013 4:00 PM CST
Updated Feb 28, 2013 7:38 PM CST
Brendon Taga, left, and Jesse Page, of Vashon Island, Wash., take their wedding vows Dec. 9 in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

(Newser) – The Obama administration has ramped up its fight for gay marriage at the Supreme Court ahead of two big cases in late March. The Justice Department today issued a legal brief urging the court to strike down California's Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage, reports the Los Angeles Times. The ban violates the Constitution's equal-protection clause, argues the brief. “Tradition, no matter how long established, cannot by itself justify a discriminatory law,” it says. “Prejudice may not be the basis for differential treatment under the law.”

At SCOTUSblog, Lyle Denniston notes that the brief does not explicitly call for a right to gay marriage nationwide, instead focusing on why the California ban is wrong. "The historic document, though, could give the Court a way to advance gay marriage rights, without going the full step ... of declaring that marriage should be open to all same-sex couples as a constitutional requirement." The government did not have to weigh in on the Prop 8 case because it is not directly involved, notes the New York Times. (It had no choice on the second case, that one dealing with a narrower issue involving the Defense of Marriage Act.) But it did so anyway, asserting that "the designation of marriage conveys a message to society that domestic partnerships or civil unions cannot match.”

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Mar 1, 2013 7:59 AM CST
Hard to believe that California, the most liberal state in the union, has Proposition 8. For once, they got something right.
Mar 1, 2013 6:45 AM CST
I have yet to hear ONE logical reason to ban gay marriage... every argument seems to come from religion... we do not live in a theocracy... your religious beliefs should hold no power over ME.... to have freedom of religion we must have freedom from it...
Mar 1, 2013 5:13 AM CST
This only means that President and his administration are truly representatives of all Americans regardless of their faith, height, weight, skin color, eyes color, hair type, sexuality, etc. Whatever is our personal opinion on any matter, it is Government responsibility, it is our responsibility as society to apply and protect all human rights to all citizens. Congratulations Mr. President!