Holder: State AGs Don't Have To Defend Gay Marriage Bans

(Washington, DC) -- State attorneys general are not obligated to defend gay marriage bans if they believe those laws are unconstitutional. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder delivered that message yesterday during a speech at the winter meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General in Washington, DC. Holder's remarks reflect the Obama administration's 2011 decision not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in federal court because the President and the attorney general believed the law was unconstitutional. Attorneys general in six states have already said they would no longer defend their states' provisions against same-sex unions, though their position is criticized by many. Critics say the job of the attorney general is to defend laws enacted by the state and the voters, and failing to do so hurts the democratic process.