The unions of hundreds of same-sex couples who rushed to get married while it was still legal in Utah will be recognised by the federal government, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Friday.
Holder issued the following statement:
“Recently, an administrative step by the Court has cast doubt on same-sex marriages that have been performed in the state of Utah. And the governor has announced that the state will not recognise these marriages pending additional Court action.
In the meantime, I am confirming today that, for purposes of federal law, these marriages will be recognised as lawful and considered eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages. These families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status as the litigation unfolds. In the days ahead, we will continue to coordinate across the federal government to ensure the timely provision of every federal benefit to which Utah couples and couples throughout the country are entitled — regardless of whether they are in same-sex or opposite-sex marriages. And we will continue to provide additional information as soon as it becomes available.”
A U.S. district court judge handed down a ruling in December saying the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, but earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to temporarily stop gay marriages in the state.
That order is keeping the state’s ban on same-sex marriage alive until a federal appeals court can rule on the district court judge’s decision.
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