Holder: DOJ will fight same-sex marriage bans

ABC News | ABC Sports NewsThe Justice Department will file a brief arguing the Supreme Court should prevent states from banning same-sex marriage, Attorney General Eric Holder said Sunday.

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Holder said in an interview with ABC News that if the high court agrees to hear any of the legal challenges to state bans on gay marriage, the Obama administration will argue such laws are unconstitutional. Last week, officials in Utah said they would ask the Supreme Court to review a lower court ruling enabling gay marriage in the state.The attorney general said such an action would be ”consistent with the actions that we have taken over the past couple of years."Under Holder, the Justice department has refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits federal spousal benefits for same-sex couples. The Supreme Court last year gutted a key provision of that law, holding that the federal government should not define marriage exclusively as heterosexual unions.Holder said that decision “vindicated” the administration’s strategy not to defend the law. He also said he was confident that the Supreme Court would agree that bans on gay marriage were unconstitutional."I think a lot of these measures that ultimately will come before the court will not survive a heightened scrutiny examination," he said.President Obama became the first sitting president to voice his support for gay marriage in 2012.During a trip to Texas last week, a cashier at a barbecue restaurant where Obama visited urged “equal rights for gay people” during his conversation with the president.“Are you gay?” Obama asked, according to the Austin Chronicle.“Only when I’m having sex!” the cashier responded, drawing a laugh — and fist bump — from the president.

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