Administration Asks Justices To Void Marriage Law Provision

WASHINGTON (February 23, 2013)—In a filing with the U.S. Supreme Court, the Obama administration is asking justices to declare a section of federal law that only recognizes male-female marriages unconstitutional.

The filing says Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act denies legally married same-sex couples many federal benefits that are available only to legally married heterosexual couples including federal tax and Social Security survivor's benefits.

In its brief, the administration said the provision "violates the fundamental constitutional guarantee of equal protection."

The brief was filed as the justices prepare to hear arguments next month in a challenge to the 1996 law.

President Barack Obama last year said he personally supports gay marriage and said in last month's inaugural address that the law should treat gay people like anyone else.

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