For Immediate Release - February 23, 2011

Statement of AG Coakley Regarding DOJ's Decision to No Longer Defend DOMA

"I am very pleased that the Department of Justice and President Obama have determined that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. This is a position that we have held and argued since we filed our lawsuit in July 2009. We brought our case based on a firm conviction that to achieve equality for all married couples in Massachusetts, we need to ensure that all citizens enjoy the same rights and protections under the Constitution. Today's decision is another important victory for the civil rights of same-sex couples and their families, as it now means that DOMA has been declared discriminatory and unconstitutional by a federal judge, the Department of Justice, and the President of the United States. A letter sent today from Attorney General Eric Holder informed Congress that it has the ability to continue to defend these suits. Exactly what that means for our litigation pending in the First Circuit Court will become clear in the next few days."

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