from Chip Bok:
The president has ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and ordered the Justice Department not to defend it.
What is the DOMA you ask? Well, according to the WSJ…
it was passed in 1996 by large majorities in both houses of Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton.
The law says the federal government will only recognize marriages that are between a man and a woman. States can still allow same-sex marriages—and five states plus the District of Columbia have done so. But people married under those state laws aren’t accepted as married under federal law.
Same sex couples get unfavorable death tax treatment under the law…
For example, a woman inheriting money from her deceased same-sex partner doesn’t get the tax benefits that federal tax law allows for a person inheriting from a spouse.
A Washington Post editorial, however, points out the two edged swordiness of the president’s approach by asking if a future Republican president might refuse to defend Obamacare from constitutional challenges.