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Obama administration urges Supreme Court to strike down Defense of Marriage Act

The Obama administration filed a brief with the Supreme Court urging justices to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

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Hill Wolfe and Ili Wong watch the festivities as newlyweds exit City Hall on December 9, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. December 9th was the first day that same-sex couples can legally wed in Washington state. (David Ryder/AFP/Getty Images)

The Obama administration urged the Supreme Court late Friday to overturn the federal gay marriage ban, calling it unconstitutional.

In a legal brief, US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli's asked the court to uphold a federal appeals court ruling that found the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

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Passed in 1996, the act defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

It also prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, thus denying them federal benefits like Social Security.

In his brief, Verrilli argues that's wrong:

"The law denies to tens of thousands of same-sex couples who are legally married under state law an array of important federal benefits that are available to legally married opposite-sex couples. Because this discrimination cannot be justified as substantially furthering any important governmental interest, Section 3 is unconstitutional."

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According to Politico, Obama administration has been urging lower courts to strike down DOMA for two years.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case March 27, The Huffington Post reported.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130222/obama-administration-supreme-court-strike-down-d