An administration official confirmed that the Justice Department will file a brief in the case today. Officials would not discuss the legal arguments the brief would contain.
The decision to enter the case comes despite the president’s past position that marriage rights should be a state matter. In recent weeks, however, Obama increasingly has referred to same-sex marriage as an issue of civil rights.
Other administration officials have taken the same stance. In a television interview to be aired next week, for example, Atty. Gen. Eric Holder said that he saw marriage equality as “really the latest civil-rights issue.”
“It is the question of whether or not American citizens are going to be treated with equal protection of the laws,” Holder said in the interview with ABC News.