Democrats in Congress urge Supreme Court to overturn anti-gay marriage law

WASHINGTON - More than 200 Democrats in Congress are urging the Supreme Court to overturn part of the federal law against gay marriage preventing same-sex couples from receiving federal benefits.

The lawmakers are filing a friend-of-the-court brief Friday. The brief asks the court to strike down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. The provision denies all federal benefits to same-sex couples.

The Democratic brief is meant as a counterweight to House Republicans, who have defended the law in court ever since President Barack Obama ordered the Justice Department to stop defending it.

The president believes the measure is unconstitutional, but it will remain federal law unless it is repealed by Congress or overturned by the court.