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Updated Feb. 24 to add Catholic link.

This just in: President Obama has ordered the Justice Department to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law that bars federal recognition of same-sex marriage, against lawsuits challenging it as unconstitutional.

Check out the Justice Department’s statement from Attorney General Eric Holder here, and the story just posted on The New York Times website. As expected, the U.S. Catholic bishops have decried this turn of events.

Meanwhile, on the subject of unconstitutional vs. constitutional laws, a federal judge has tossed out the lawsuit filed by the American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative legal group that claimed the new health care reform law’s requirement that all Americans have health insurance violates the religious freedom of those who rely on God to protect them.

I’ll post more faith-related links later today — I’m sure the Religion Clause blog will have more details on the legal language shortly — but feel free to share them in the Comments section in the meantime, along with your thoughts.

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