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Lawsuit Filed Over Obama Administration's Anti-DOMA Decision

The Family Research Council and Judicial Watch requested documents under Freedom of Information Act, but sections were withheld.

BY EWTN NEWS

| Posted 9/1/11 at 12:16 PM

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WASHINGTON (EWTN News) — A new lawsuit filed against the Department of Justice charges that it is withholding emails about the Obama administration’s decision not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.

“We have serious concerns that the Justice Department wants to hide evidence that it was doing the bidding of campaign donors and homosexual activists from whom Obama will need assistance for his re-election,” said Family Research Council president Tony Perkins.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, the Family Research Council had requested the relevant documents from the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to determine the basis for the decision and to determine the possible influence of the homosexual lobby on the decision.

One June 2, the Department of Justice informed the organization that it had searched and identified 357 pages of email collections relevant to the group’s request.

Twenty-seven of these pages were claimed to be exempted and withheld. An administrative appeal of the exemption, filed June 27, has not received a response, despite a federal law requiring one.

The Family Research Council has now joined the organization Judicial Watch in the attempt to obtain some of these same documents.

On Feb. 23, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Congress that announced that the Department of Justice would not defend the constitutionality of the Marriage Act’s Section 3 as applied to same-sex couples. The section defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

The administration’s new position quickly became a part of the legal fight to redefine marriage.

Less than three hours after the announcement, litigants seeking to strike down California’s Proposition 8 filed a motion to vacate the stay of its case with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The litigants cited and quoted from Holder’s letter.

Perkins charged that the administration’s action undermined the law.

“When Barack Obama became president, he took an oath to uphold our laws — and not just the ones with which he personally agrees,” he said. “This isn’t just a threat to marriage. It’s a threat to the entire democratic process. If the Obama administration has nothing to hide, then why stonewall?”

Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, charged that the Obama administration is “playing politics with the Freedom of Information Act to avoid telling the American people the truth about one of its indefensible positions.”

“The evidence suggests the nation’s highest law enforcement is refusing to enforce the law to appease another special-interest group,” he said.

EWTN News contacted the Department of Justice for comment but did not receive a response by deadline.