Obama Administration Encourages the Supreme Court to Strike Down Defense of Marriage Act

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Photo: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

On Friday, a White House lawyer submitted a brief calling DOMA unconstitutional because it violates "the fundamental guarantee of equal protection" by denying federal benefits to same-sex couples married under state laws. While the administration has been urging the Court to overturn DOMA for a couple years, the strong language of the argument — submitted in anticipation of the upcoming March hearing on the 1996 law — indicates that President Obama might be ready to embrace a federal right to gay marriage by also calling for the end of Proposition 8, which will be evaluated alongside DOMA.