David G. Savage and James Oliphant “Obama administration shifts legal stance on gay marriage” http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-obama-gay-marriage-20110224,0,1863741.story
1996年の「結婚防衛法（the Defense of Marriage Act）について；
Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a letter to Congress on Wednesday that the administration had determined that the act, which was passed by Congress in 1996, discriminated against gays and therefore could no longer be accepted as reasonable. Holder said that Congress may wish to appoint its own lawyers to defend the law, which bars the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages or extending them the same benefits granted to heterosexual unions.
Holder said the administration would continue to enforce the law until a final ruling was made, most likely by the Supreme Court.
Even if the administration's view prevails it would not force states to grant equal marriage rights to gays and lesbians. But if that view is accepted by the courts, federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, would be prevented from discriminating against gays and lesbians who are legally married. Its legal rationale might also be used to challenge state bans on gay marriage as an unconstitutional violation of equal rights. Five states and the District of Columbia grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
During the Clinton administration, a Republican-led Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act to prevent one state's adoption of gay marriage from spreading nationwide. Usually, states are required to honor legal agreements made in another state, including marriage, under the "full faith and credit" clause in the Constitution. In enacting the law, Congress said that neither the states nor the federal government were obliged to recognize a marriage other than "a legal union between one man and one woman."
Eric H. Holder Jr司法長官はJohn A. Boehner 下院議長（共和党、オハイオ州）への書翰の中で、司法省はEdith Windsorの訴訟及びニュー･ジャージーでの同様の訴訟に対する抗弁は行わないと表明している。
In New York, Edith Windsor sued after she received a $350,000 inheritance-tax bill from the IRS after the death of her spouse, Thea Spyer. The two had lived together for 44 years in New York City and were married in Canada in 2007, yet the IRS treated them "as though they were strangers," according to her legal complaint.