** CORRECTION: The original first line of this article had erroneously said President Obama called on the court to “acknowledge same-sex marriage as unconstitutional.” This was the opposite of what he said.
The Obama Administration asked the Supreme Court to acknowledge DOMA as unconstitutional last Friday. This makes President Obama the first president in history to have a brief filed in support of gay marriage and presented in front of a Supreme Court.
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was signed back in 1996. The law bans gay marriage and excludes LGBT spouses from some rights that heterosexual couples have, including federal benefits.
DOMA “denies to tens of thousands of same-sex couples who are legally married under state law an array of important federal benefits that are available to legally married opposite-sex couples,” US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli said in the brief written to the Supreme Court.
Republicans had arguments against the brief and want to stand their ground on defending DOMA and saying that this issue should have been argued back in 1996 when the bill was first signed.
President Obama talked about his support for gay marriage during his campaign for his second term and even mentioned his support in the fight for marriage equality, comparing it to the fight for women’s and civil rights.
“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law,” said Obama during his inaugural speech last month, “for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”
In the brief, Solicitor Verrilli also argued that this law was clearly an act of discrimination and scrutiny towards the LGBT community.
The Supreme Court will hear the case against DOMA on March 27.