Obama Backs Repeal of Marriage Law

President endorses bill to kill act
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2011 1:41 AM CDT
Updated Jul 20, 2011 6:00 AM CDT
Obama Backs Repeal of Defense of Marriage Act
Gay rights protesters demonstrate outside an Obama fundraiser in California.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(Newser) – President Obama's "evolving views" on gay marriage appear to have evolved even further: The president has endorsed a bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. The bill, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, is thought unlikely to pass Congress this year, but is facing its first Senate committee hearing today, the New York Times reports.

Obama earlier called the act unconstitutional and ordered the Justice Department to stop defending it in court. Feinstein plans to argue that the law should be repealed because the issue should decided at the state level, reports the Los Angeles Times. "Family law has traditionally been the preserve of state law. The single exception is the Defense of Marriage Act," she told reporters. "This is not a cause which we are going to drop. We are not faint hearts about this." (Read more Defense of Marriage Act stories.)

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