Freshman Rep. Farenthold says Defense of Marriage decision violates Constitution

Freshman Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) on Thursday said the Obama administration's decision not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act is a violation of the Constitution, adding that the administration does not have the right to simply decide not to enforce the law.

"The attorney general and president have independently determined that this is unconstitutional," Farenthold said. "Anyone who has taken a civics class or government course will tell you that's not the president or the Justice Department's job. It's the Supreme Court's job.

"This is an express violation of the separation of powers principle found in the Constitution, and it presents a dangerous precedent for future administrations to follow," he added. "This is not a gay-rights issue, this is a separation-of-powers issue."

The Defense of Marriage Act prohibits the government from recognizing same-sex marriages, and was signed into law by President Clinton. Some Republicans have already called for oversight of the Feb. 23 decision not to enforce the law.