This story idea was spurred from all the recent coverage in regards to the Obama administration's formal stance on the Defense of Marriage Act, and the two new federal lawsuits that threaten to define that stance.
The news lead in this story by the New York Times works because it incorporates prominence and impact, involving the Obama administration, and conflict, portraying the different decisions the administration faces.
The prominence is detailed in the news lead because it involves President Obama's administration. Also the impact is detailed, showing that the administration has been on the fence and now is forced to decide due to the new lawsuits.
This story's lead generalizes the timeliness news element because it is not as important as the impact of what the same-sex marriage lawsuits imply.