Massachusetts Attorney General Martha
Coakley and GLAD attorney Mary Bonauto are thrilled with President
Obama's decision not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
The Clinton-era law bans federal
agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian
couples and allows states to ignore such marriages.
Attorney General Eric Holder said on
Wednesday that he and the president believe parts of the law are
Two of the cases the Department of
Justice had been fighting were filed in Massachusetts, the first
state to legalize the institution in 2005.
Coakley told the Boston Herald
that the decision was an “important victory.”
GLAD attorney Mary Bonauto called the
announcement “extraordinarily significant,” but added that she
believes Congress will step in to defend the law.
“We are prepared to address head-on
whatever arguments Congress may make,” Bonauto said.
Governor Deval Patrick also praised the
“In Massachusetts, we believe that
every person ought to be able to marry whomever they love, and we
believe the rest of the country is moving forward in that direction,
too,” he said.