The Obama Administration has been torturing the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act for years, both rhetorically and in the courts, but refuses to put it to death for obvious political reasons. However, a pair of upcoming lawsuits, may force the President to take a side.
For background, CLICK HERE for the latest article and follow embedded links therein to earlier articles.
-- From "Gay marriage lawsuits challenge Obama administration" by Charlie Savage, New York Times 1/28/11
The two lawsuits . . . have provoked an internal administration debate about how to sustain its have-it-both-ways stance, officials said. Unlike previous challenges, the new lawsuits were filed in districts covered by the appeals court in New York — one of the only circuits with no modern precedent saying how to evaluate claims that a law discriminates against gay people.
"Now they are being asked what they think the law should be, and not merely how to apply the law as it exists," said Michael Dorf, a Cornell University law professor. "There is much less room to hide for that decision."
The Obama legal team has not yet decided what path to take on the lawsuits, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity about the internal deliberations. But the Justice Department must respond by March 11.
. . . a crucial question: Is it constitutional for the federal government to grant certain benefits — like health insurance for spouses of federal workers, or an exemption to estate taxes for surviving spouses — to some people who are legally married under their state's laws, but not to others, based on their sexual orientation?
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