I confessed recently that if we got a gay Loving vs Virginia this June, I would certainly weep for joy. But in a country still divided 50 – 50 on the issue, I think my tears can wait. And that’s why I think the Obama DOJ has taken exactly the right approach in both joining the Supreme Court suits over Prop 8 [PDF] and DOMA [PDF] and in making the simple and modest arguments they have. They both understand and express for the first time the systemic discrimination gay Americans have lived under for centuries, and they are small-c conservative, in that they stop short of a full-scale federal equal protection argument that would mandate marriage equality across the entire country at once.... Basically, the administration is arguing that if you give gay couples all the rights and responsibilities of marriage, but withhold the name, you are discriminating less rationally than those who refuse to give gay couples any rights at all. You are legislating only stigma. And on the DOMA question, the brief argues that if a state recognizes a marriage, the federal government should defer to the state, as was the case throughout American history until 1996.