The federal government, in addition to waging its own battle against the federal Defense of Marriage Act, has officially waded into the Supreme Court challenge to California’s same-sex marriage ban, asking the justices last night to strick down the law, though stopping short of asking the Court to set a nationwide rule.
The Justice Departments amicus brief in Hollingsworth v. Perry asks the Court to strike the marriage and civil union laws in California and eight other states that limit or prevent same-sex couples from enjoying the same rights and benefits as opposite-sex couples. The Court can do this, the Obama Administration argues, without declaring a national constitutional right to marry – an issue that can wait until another day, the brief said.
“Throughout history, we have seen the unjust consequences of decisions and policies rooted in discrimination,” Holder’s statement said. “The issues before the Supreme Court in this case and the Defense of Marriage Act case are not just important to the tens of thousands of Americans who are being denied equal benefits and rights under our laws, but to our Nation as a whole.”