Eric Holder: Marriage equality ‘really the latest civil rights issue’

Eric Holder: Marriage equality ‘really the latest civil rights issue’

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday that marriage equality for gays and lesbians is the next big civil rights issue.

In an interview with ABC News, Holder declined to indicate how the Justice Department will approach the U.S. Supreme Court challenge to California’s Prop. 8 marriage ban, but did address same-sex marriage as an issue.

Eric Holder (AP)

“From my perspective, this is really the latest civil rights issue,” Holder told ABC News. “It is the question of whether or not American citizens are going to be treated with equal protection of the laws. And so with regard to Prop. 8, we’re in the process now of deciding what position we’re gonna take.”

The Obama administration on Thursday is widely expected to urge the Supreme Court to strike down California’s ban on gay marriage, a case that could have sweeping implications for the right of same-sex couples to wed.

The administration’s friend-of-the-court brief would not be legally binding but could have some measure of influence on the court when it considers the constitutionality of the Proposition 8 measure in March.

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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