John M. Becker

BREAKING: U.S. Will Recognize Utah Marriages

Filed By John M. Becker | January 10, 2014 12:05 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Gary Herbert, gay marriage, marriage discrimination, same-sex marriage, Utah

gay_mormon_temple.jpgThe U.S. government has just announced that it will recognize all legal same-sex marriages performed in Utah between December 20, when a federal judge struck down the state's constitutional marriage discrimination amendment, and January 6, when the Supreme Court put a stay on the judge's ruling as the state appeals it.

This comes just two days after the administration of Gary Herbert, Utah's extremely anti-gay governor, announced that the state refused to recognize those very same legal Utah marriages during the appeals process.

Approximately 1,300 same-sex couples married during the brief window when Utah was the 18th marriage equality state.

This breaking story will be updated as it develops.

UPDATE: The news came in a video announcement from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Watch:

The full text of Holder's remarks, from Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade:

Last June, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision - in United States v. Windsor - holding that Americans in same-sex marriages are entitled to equal protection and equal treatment under the law. This ruling marked a historic step toward equality for all American families. And since the day it was handed down, the Department of Justice has been working tirelessly to implement it in both letter and spirit - moving to extend -- federal benefits to married same-sex couples as swiftly and smoothly as possible.

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 recognize these marriages pending additional Court action.

In the meantime, I am confirming today that, for purposes of federal law, these marriages will be recognized 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 in same-sex or opposite-sex marriages. And we will continue to provide additional information as soon as it becomes available.

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