Gay rights groups praise decision to drop defense of anti-gay-marriage law
POSTED: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - 5:19pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - 7:33pm
WASHINGTON (AP) - Gay rights groups are praising the Obama administration's decision to stop defending in court a federal law that bans recognition of same-sex marriage.
The head of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force calls it a "tremendous step toward recognizing our common humanity."
But a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner says the White House should focus on "creating jobs and cutting spending," and not on a divisive issue like gay marriage.
The Justice Department had defended the act in court until now. But Attorney General Eric Holder says the president decided that the administration can't keep doing so.
Obama spokesman Jay Carney says the president himself is still "grappling" with his personal view of gay marriage but has always personally opposed the Defense of Marriage Act as "unnecessary and unfair."