The Obama administration filed new papers on Monday in the case against Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer, who are challenging the Defense of Marriage Act. While the Justice Dept. reiterated that it is obliged to defend DOMA, the brief also included a statement missing from the first brief filed in the case, which caused an uproar and a boycott of an LGBT DNC fundraiser in June.
This time, they mentioned that they believe the law to be "discriminatory".
AP: "Justice Department lawyers are seeking to dismiss a suit brought by
a gay California couple challenging the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.
The administration's response to the case has angered gay activists who
see it as backtracking on campaign promises made by Barack Obama. In
the court papers, the administration urges the repeal of the law but
says in the meantime, government lawyers will continue to defend it as
a law on the books. The government's previous filing in the case
angered gay rights activists who supported Obama's candidacy in part
because of his pledge to move forward on repealing the law and the
"don't ask, don't tell" policy that prevents gays from serving openly
in the military. 'The administration believes the Defense of
Marriage Act is discriminatory and should be repealed,' said Justice
Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler, because it prevents equal rights
and benefits. The Justice Department, she added, is obligated 'to
defend federal statutes when they are challenged in court. The Justice
Department cannot pick and choose which federal laws it will defend
based on any one administration's policy preferences.'"