President Obama’s administration is petitioning the Supreme Court to strike a provision of the so called ‘Defense of Marriage Act, passed in 1996. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli filed a brief with the court proposing that section 3 is unconstitutional.
This section defines marriage as being “between a man and a woman”, therefore denying federal benefits for same-sex couples. The petition claims that it violates the provision in the Constitution of the United States that mandates “equal protection under the law”.
In the brief, Verrilli said there was a history of discrimination against gays and lesbians that required the Supreme Court to take a careful look at any law that specifically targets them as a group.
He therefore urged the court to take an approach to analyzing the law known as “heightened scrutiny,” which, if adopted by the court, could make it more likely the court would find the law unconstitutional.
“The law denies to tens of thousands of same-sex couples who are legally married under state law an array of important federal benefits that are available to legally married opposite sex couples,” he wrote.
The Supreme Court is set to hear argument on March 27th.
Columnist-The Guardian Express