(San Francisco, CA, September 18, 2009)— Today, the Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss in Gill v. Office of Personnel Development, a federal lawsuit challenging Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which excludes same-sex couples from all federal benefits and protections given to heterosexual married couples.

A statement from NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq.

“We are disappointed that the Justice Department continues to advance what we believe are insupportable arguments in defense of DOMA, even while their brief acknowledges the President’s view that DOMA blatantly discriminates against same-sex couples and should be repealed. The Department missed an opportunity to acknowledge that discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people is wrong. DOMA is an unprecedented departure from the federal government’s practice of respecting couples who are legally married under state law. Never before has the federal government refused to provide benefits to legally married couples, and there is no reason for doing so now. We call on the President to exercise his leadership to urge Congress to move as quickly as possible on the DOMA repeal legislation introduced this week in Congress.”

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.