President Obama recently proclaimed the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which basically prohibits the recognition of same sex marriages, unconstitutional, and ordered the Justice Department to discontinue any defense of the act, explained a New York Family Lawyer
Supporters of same sex marriages were elated by this decision, but republicans questioned his political motive, because the President opposes same-sex marriage, has recently pushed to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell law”(bars military from letting gays serve), and had done just the opposite his first two years in office.
Attorney General, Eric H. Holder Jr. explained the decision in a letter to Congress. His letter basically said the administration would no longer defend the law despite the fact that they had defended it for the past two years.
“The president and I have concluded that classifications based on sexual orientation should be subjected to a strict legal test intended to block unfair discrimination,” Mr. Holder said, “As a result, a crucial provision of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.”
“This is a great step by the Obama administration and a tipping point for the gay rights movement that will have ripple effects in contexts beyond the Defense of Marriage Act,” said Anthony D. Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. “It will reach into issues of employment discrimination, family recognition and full equality rights for lesbian and gay people.”
Conservatives and other critics called this recent abandonment of the Act “an outrageous political move that was legally unjustified,” said a New York Criminal Lawyer.
“It is a transparent attempt to shirk the department’s duty to defend the laws passed by Congress,” Republican and Texas Representative Lamar Smith, said in a statement. “This is the real politicization of the Justice Department — when the personal views of the president override the government’s duty to defend the law of the land.”
A Nassau County Family Lawyer say this issue has reopened the debate about whether or not same sex couples should be able to marry. Advocates of same-sex marriage are hopeful the Presidents views are changing and that he will not only continue to support civil unions, but will embrace same-sex marriages.
Planning for the future as a same sex couple continues to present challenges. Legal counsel understands these challenges and can help you and your partner with the law and what it means for your situation. Stephen Bilkis and Associates will stand by you through these difficult political times.
Come into to our office for legal advice and a free consultation. We can answer your questions and ensure that your rights are protected. We have offices throught New York City, including locations in Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens, the Bronx and Brooklyn. We also have locations in Suffolk County and Nassau County on Long Island as well as Westschester County. Call us today to schedule an appointment at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW.