The Obama administration says it will no longer defend the Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Attorney General Eric Holder will make a statement this afternoon announcing that the Department of Justice has decided that the law is not constitutional and that the office will no longer defend it. The Obama administration has received heavy criticism from progressives for its defense of DOMA.
A person briefed on Holder's statement told the National Journal, "The President believes that DOMA is unconstitutional. They are no longer going to be defending the cases in the 1st and 2nd circuits."
UPDATE (1:56 p.m.): The Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Rea Carvey, issued a statement on the Obama administration's decision to stop defending DOMA. Carvey said it is "a tremendous step toward recognizing our common humanity and ending an egregious injustice against thousands of loving, committed couples who simply want the protections, rights, and responsibilities afforded other married couples."
UPDATE (2:04 p.m.): In a statement, U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley said he applauded the administration's decision. He added, "We have made great strides toward equality in recent months by repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and legalizing civil unions in Illinois, and today another blow has been struck against bigotry and discrimination."