The decision to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act, which is facing a challenge in the Supreme Court early next year, was made entirely within the Justice Department, said Attorney General Eric Holder at a forum in Boston Tuesday evening.
The Supreme Court announced last week it would take a case challenging the constitutionality of the 1996 law that prohibits the federal recognition of same-sex marriages. The Justice Department in February 2011 said it would no longer defend DOMA in court. Holder wouldn’t say much on the subject of same-sex marriage, but he did say the decision to stop defending the law because it was unconstitutional was made within the Justice Department, according to a report by CNN.
Holder went to President Barack Obama with the determination, and the president agreed.
“If he hadn’t, it would have been interesting,” Holder said.
Holder spoke at a civil rights forum in Boston on Tuesday night at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.