Federal Government Refuses to Defend Defense of Marriage Act - Now What?

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The federal government is no longer defending the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, which declares that under federal law, the word "marriage" means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife. A press release was issued by the attorney general to explain the change in position.

On February 23, 2011, United States Attorney General Eric Holder issued a press release indicating that the federal government will no longer defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Section 3 of DOMA provides that for all purposes under federal law, the word “marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word “spouse” refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife. Although the president had previously opposed DOMA and supported its repeal, the administration had defended it in court on several previous occasions. As a result, part of the Department of Justice’s press release was to explain the change in position.

This press release has already received a significant amount of attention and national press, but what does it mean for employers and employee benefit plans?

Please see full article below for more information.

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Published In: Administrative Agency Updates, Constitutional Law Updates, Family Law Updates, Labor & Employment Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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