The Obama administration will no longer defend in court the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as between a man and a woman and bars federal benefits to same-sex couples.
President Obama now deems the act, which Congress passed in 1996 under President Clinton, unconstitutional, according to a letter U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sent to congressional leadership on Wednesday.
Two cases challenging DOMA are pending before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, so the administration “had to act,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney. “It was under a court-imposed deadline to make this decision.”

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