The White House is asking the Supreme Court to over turn California’s gay marriage ban. The Obama administration came out strong against the ban on Thursday and, in effect, also implicated similar bans in 37 other states.
The administration sent a brief to the Supreme Court via the Justice Department to argue that the same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.
The brief added that gay and lesbian couples have as much of a right to marry as heterosexuals, reports USA Today. Attorney General Eric Holder stated in the brief:
“The government seeks to vindicate the defining constitutional ideal of equal treatment under the law. Throughout history, we have seen the unjust consequences of decisions and policies rooted in discrimination.”
Along with speaking to the gay marriage ban in California, the brief also implicated the other states in the Union that have civil unions, but have a ban on gay marriage. The brief specifies Proposition 8, saying:
“Proposition 8’s denial of marriage to same-sex couples, particularly where California at the same time grants same-sex partners all the substantive rights of marriage, violates equal protection.”
Fox News notes that California is one of eight states that allow civil unions, but don’t allow same-sex couples to wed. The administration added:
“They establish homes and lives together, support each other financially, share the joys and burdens of raising children, and provide care through illness and comfort at the moment of death.”
The brief from the White House is the most expansive show of support for gay marriage by President Obama to date. It also shows that the president is likely moving away from his previous stance that states should make their own marriage laws.
Obama, a former constitutional law professor, signed off on the brief last week after extensive talks with Holder and Solicitor General Donald Verrilli. The Supreme Court will hear two cases regarding gay marriage this year.
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