Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 29, 2014

Holder Fuels Debate on Same-Sex Marriage Ban

The New York Times reports that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Monday “injected the Obama administration into the emotional and politicized debate over the future of state same-sex marriage bans, declaring in an interview that state attorneys general are not obligated to defend laws that they believe are discriminatory.”

“Mr. Holder was careful not to encourage his state counterparts to disavow their own laws, but said that officials who have carefully studied bans on gay marriage could refuse to defend them.”

Departing from the conventional norms of his role as attorney general, Holder said “when laws touch on core constitutional issues like equal protection, an attorney general should apply the highest level of scrutiny before reaching a decision on whether to defend it.”

“Mr. Holder has said he views today’s gay-rights campaigns as a continuation of the civil rights movement that won rights for black Americans in the 1950s and ’60s.”

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