The basic facts, as the Times points out:
A gay couple married under California law is challenging the act in federal court. In its brief, the Justice Department argues that the couple lack legal standing to do so. It goes on to contend that even if they have standing, the case should be dismissed on the merits.The brief insists it is reasonable for states to favor heterosexual marriages because they are the “traditional and universally recognized form of marriage.” In arguing that other states do not have to recognize same-sex marriages under the Constitution’s “full faith and credit” clause, the Justice Department cites decades-old cases ruling that states do not have to recognize marriages between cousins or an uncle and a niece.
The couple is Christopher Hammer and Arthur Smelt, who are pictured above.
An article a few days ago on sfgate.com explained the administration's position:
The Justice Department issued a statement saying Obama wants the law repealed "because it prevents LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) couples from being granted equal rights and benefits. However, until Congress passes legislation repealing the law, the administration will continue to defend the statute when it is challenged in the justice system."
Now exactly why will the Obama Justice Department continue to defend the statute? Because it is on the books? By that logic, the Justice Department will also have to prosecute the Bush administration officials who authorized and carried out torture, because there are laws on the books against that too. Better yet, let's see Obama actually carry out his campaign promises to get the Defense of Marriage Act repealed. And meanwhile, how about if the Justice Department simply steps aside and let justice take its course?