The Obama Administration has determined that part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed by Congress and signed into law by Bill Clinton, is unconstitutional and they will no lobger defend the law in court proceedings.
This puts the administration on a collision course with the USCCB to be sure, and just so, I fail to see the political benefit in this move for the administration. The USCCB has declined to join the effort to repeal the health care reform law and it gave a mixed verdict on the new conscience regulations. Of course, the move will help with fundraising in liberal circles, which is a prime concern. And, in the strange world of liberal jurisprudence these days, I suppose the determination that DOMA is unconstitutional makes sense. But, why not wait until the courts sort it out?
The issue of gay marriage is a conundrum for all politicians. Usually, conservatives prefer states to take the lead in setting social policy, not the federal government, but conservatives have embraced DOMA. Liberals, of course, have, or should have, a difficult time defending the proposition that a president, any president, can choose which laws to defend and which to ignore.
One thing is sure - the blogosphere will be lit up like a Christmas tree on this one.