Eric Holder: DOJ will argue against gay marriage bans at Supreme Court

Mon. July 14, 2014 8:18 AM by

Washington, D.C. - Attorney General Eric Holder has said that the Department of Justice will urge the Supreme Court to strike down state gay marriage bans when it decides to take a case.

Last week, Utah became the first state to announce that it would appeal a ruling striking down such a ban to the Supreme Court.

Six appeals circuits have heard or are scheduled to hear similar cases, with possibly dozens more on the way.

Appearing on ABC's This Week, Holder said that if the high court agrees to hear any of those cases, the Justice Department will file documents with the court that "will be in support of same-sex marriage."

Such a brief would be "consistent with the actions that we have taken over the past couple of years," Holder said.

At President Barack Obama's direction, the Justice Department has refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court. Last year, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of DOMA, leading to the federal government's recognition of the legal marriages of gay couples.

Holder said he believes the justices will agree that such bans are unconstitutional.

"I think a lot of these measures that ultimately will come before the court will not survive a heightened scrutiny examination," Holder said.

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