On Friday the Obama administration filed a brief strongly urging the Supreme Court to strike down DOMA, the law that prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage.
The brief claims that DOMA violates the equal protection clause of the US constitution by defining "spouse" and "marriage" in a way that is limited to heterosexual couples. In the words of the brief, "the law denies to tens of thousands of same-sex couples who are legally married under state law an array of important federal benefits that are available to legally married opposite-sex couples."
Using forceful language, the document argues that being gay is "immutable," a legal term applied to characteristics like race and gender. "The broad consensus in the scientific community is that for the vast majority of people (gay and straight alike), sexual orientation is not a voluntary choice."
The Republican-led House of Representatives has filed a brief on the other side of the coin, arguing that the court should leave DOMA alone, since gay rights activists can fend for themselves via the democratic process.
The White House filed the brief just in time to meet the Friday deadline. The Supreme Court will hear the case challenging DOMA on March 27.