(WASHINGTON TIMES) — The Obama administration is withholding medical and other benefits from same-sex spouses of military members, but Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. says he can no longer defend the law that authorizes the practice.

Conservatives are charging that Mr. Holder is going back on Pentagon promises to adhere to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the September repeal of the ban on open gays in the military.

Military promises to enforce DOMA, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, induced some fence-sitting members of Congress to support the administration’s push to repeal the ban: The Pentagon would not recognize same-sex marriages, thus would not extend an array of military benefits to same-sex spouses.

However, Mr. Holder’s Justice Department stopped defending DOMA in court challenges in February 2011.

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