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BREAKING: Department of Justice Will Not Defend DOMA in Military Context

Sarvis: An important step for the McLaughlin plaintiffs

For immediate release: Friday, February 17, 2012
Contact: Zeke Stokes at (202) 621-5406 or zeke@sldn.org

(WASHINGTON, DC)  The Department of Justice today sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) stating its position with respect to, McLaughlin et. al v. Panetta et. al., which challenges the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and three federal statutes related to benefits for the spouses of service members and veterans. Army Veteran and SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis issued the following statement:

"We are pleased that the Attorney General has decided not to defend the constitutionality of DOMA in the military context, just as he has declined to defend it in other contexts.  We are also delighted that, for the first time, he has said that separate definitions that apply to military veterans are also unconstitutional.  This is an important step for the McLaughlin plaintiffs." 

For more information on SLDN's lawsuit, click here.

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ABOUT SLDN: Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) is a non-partisan, non-profit, legal services and policy organization dedicated to bringing about full LGBT equality to America's military and ending all forms of discrimination and harassment of military personnel on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  SLDN provides free and direct legal assistance to service members and veterans affected by the repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law and the prior regulatory ban on open service, as well as those currently serving who may experience harassment or discrimination.  Since 1993, our in-house legal team has responded to more than 11,000 requests for assistance. To learn more, visit www.sldn.org.

SLDN FREE HOTLINE: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender service members with questions are urged to contact the SLDN hotline to speak with a staff attorney: Call 1-800-538-7418 or 202-328-3244 x100.

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