(CNSNews.com) - President Barack Obama praised retiring Attorney General Eric Holder yesterday for advancing the cause of same-sex "marriage" in the United States by refusing to defend federal law.
"And several years ago," Obama said in a joint appearance with Holder at the White House, "he recommended that our government stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act--a decision that was vindicated by the Supreme Court, and opened the door to federal recognition of same-sex marriage, and federal benefits for same-sex couples. It's a pretty good track record."
In his own statement at the event, Holder praised Obama for advancing the "visions" he said he and Obama had "always shared."
"I'm also grateful for the support you have given me and the department as we have made real the visions that you and I have always shared," said Holder. "I often think of those early talks between us, about our belief that we might help to craft a more perfect union. Work remains to be done, but our list of accomplishments is real.
"Over the last six year, our administration--your administration--has made historic gains in realizing the principles of the founding documents and fought to protect the most sacred of American rights, the right to vote.
"We have begun to realize the promise of equality for our LGBT brothers and sisters and their families," said Holder.
"LGBT" stands for "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender."
The Defense of Marriage of Act, which Holder refused to defend, was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996. It said that under federal laws and regulations the word "marriage" would be understood to mean the legal union of one man and one woman. It also said that states would not be forced to recognize same-sex "marriages" contracted in other states.