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August 18, 2009


Last June, Obama's Department Of Justice (DOJ) filed a highly offensive brief in support of the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA). The reaction to the language used to justify maintaining DOMA was fierce and widespread.

Wide ranging objections were heard from GLBT community leaders to editorials in the New York Times and Washington Post to radio and television commentaries to countless blogs across the internet. All condemning the brief's language that, in essence, equated gay marriages to incest and pedophilia. It also stated that heterosexual marriage is "the traditional and universally recognized form" and "that awarding federal marriage benefits to gays would infringe on the rights of taxpayers in the 30 states that specifically prohibit same-sex marriages."

Well, according to an article in the Washington Post;

The Obama administration distanced itself Monday from legal arguments it had made earlier this summer, taking pains to remove and renounce language that had outraged advocates in the gay community in a case that centers on the constitutionality of a same-sex marriage law.

In a filing by the Justice Department, administration lawyers made it clear for the first time in court that the president thinks the 13-year-old Defense of Marriage Act, which denies benefits to domestic partners of federal employees and allows states to reject same-sex marriages performed in other states, discriminates against gays and should be repealed.

None of the language that was in the brief filed in June appeared anywhere in Monday's DOJ filing. And, in conjunction with that filing, Obama also issued a separate statement on Monday affirming that he would continue to seek repeal of DOMA.

This is certainly a step in the right direction but without a bill to repeal DOMA outright, it's still just a step.