Senator Scott Brown joined other Republicans today in denouncing a decision by President Obama to drop all attempts to defend a law prohibiting the federal government from recognizing same sex marriages.
Brown did not indicate his position on gay marriage but rather lashed out at Obama, who announced today that he has concluded the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstititional.
"We can't have presidents deciding what laws are constitutional and what laws are not," Brown said in a statement. "That is a function of the judicial branch, not the executive."
The Bay State's other senator, meanwhile, hailed Obama's decision.
“DOMA was unconstitutional in 1996, and it’s unconstitutional today, and the Obama Administration made the right call to no longer defend it in the courts,” Kerry said. “The Defense of Marriage Act has never been about defending marriage. It’s been nothing more than an unconstitutional effort to deny same-sex couples basic rights and protections.”
The Defense of Marriage Act, passed in 1996, prohibits the federal government from granting benefits the same benefits to same-sex married couples as it does to opposite-sex couples, including social security and estate tax breaks. Until today, the Obama administration has defended the law's constitutionality in court cases around the country, including two in Massachusetts.
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.