Jordan/Rustin Coalition Salutes President Obama and His Administration in Their Decision Not to Defend the Discriminatory 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)By
On the recommendation of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, President Barack Obama has determined that sexual orientation discrimination should be presumed unconstitutional, and The Department of Justice has concluded that the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” is therefore an unconstitutional and indefensible law. Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday the Justice Department will no longer defend a federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act–which uses the “man-and-woman” definition– is being challenged in two federal suits filed in New York and Connecticut. In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other congressional leaders, Holder said President Barack Obama “has made the determination that Section 3 … as applied to same-sex couples who are legally married under state law, violates the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment.”
However, members of Congress could choose to defend the section on their own. Despite the administration’s conclusions, “the president has informed me that Section 3 will continue to be enforced by the executive branch,” Holder said. “To that end, the president has instructed executive agencies to continue to comply with Section 3 of DOMA … unless and until Congress repeals Section 3 or the judicial branch renders a definitive verdict against the law’s constitutionality.” Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi stated that “The Obama Administration’s decision is a victory for civil rights, fairness, and equality for the LGBT community and all Americans”. Here in California U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-California) has announced she will introduce legislation to repeal DOMA.
The Barbara Jordan/Bayard Rustin Coalition is a civil rights organization that exists to eradicate racism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and sexism in all forms. The Jordan/Rustin Coalition’s mission is to build the political power of the Black same-gender-loving, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and our allies in the Greater Los Angeles Area through grassroots organizing, political advocacy, public education and community empowerment. JRC advocates for full equality, including marriage, and complete societal acceptance of all persons with regard to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and gender expression.