As a leading Senate Democrat prepares for hearings this week on repealing the federal law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman, the White House on Tuesday threw its support to overturning the Defense of Marriage Act.

The Obama administration has already said it won’t defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court because it concludes it’s unconstitutional. But Press Secretary Jay Carney on Tuesday went further, saying President Obama is “proud to support” the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to overturn the 15-year-old law.

The Defense of Marriage Act passed both chambers of Congress by overwhelming margins and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. Feinstein was one of 14 senators to oppose the legislation.

Feinstein is now one of 27 co-sponsors, none Republican, supporting repeal. She said with a GOP-dominated House, she understands repeal may not happen anytime soon.

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