Judge in gay marriage case asks DoJ for clarity

AP News
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Posted: Feb 24, 2011 7:13 PM
Judge in gay marriage case asks DoJ for clarity

The Obama administration's announcement that it no longer will defend a federal law that bans recognition of gay marriage has prompted a judge in a least one pending case to seek clarification.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White has asked the Department of Justice to explain by Monday how it intends to fight a lawsuit by a federal employee in San Francisco who has sued over the government's refusal to authorize health coverage for her wife.

During a nonjury trial in December, a Justice Department lawyer argued that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act precluded the government from recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples.

But on Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Obama administration had concluded the 1996 law was unconstitutional.

White's ruling in the case has been expected to come any time.