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Gay marriage update: Utah same-sex marriage gets OK from feds

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U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder reported the more than 1300 same-sex marriages performed over the past few months in Utah will be legally recognized in a report by the Washington Blade dated Jan. 10.

On Dec. 20, 2013, Judge Robert Shelby struck down the same-sex marriage ban in Utah. Since then, about 1300 same-sex couples had taken to the court houses, in the hopes of claiming their legal rights as married couples.

Since then, Utah Governor Gary Herbert has issued a statement the state will not recognize the marriages pending an appeal of the strike down of the ban.

Despite Herbert’s efforts to appeal the life of the ban on gay marriage, Holder, is continuing the fight for equal marriage rights, promising the federal government will recognize same-sex marriages that have already taken place since Dec. 20, 2013.

Here is the full statement made by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on gay marriage in Utah:

“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.”

Holder concludes:

“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.”

Once again, Edie Windsor’s fight continues to open the door for same-sex couples in the fight for same-sex marriage rights. Equal marriage rights include benefits every couple wants for their family.

The “gay agenda” as the media likes to call it, is part of this battle for equal marriage rights. The right to visit your partner in the hospital, the right to file taxes together, the right to adopt children, and many more are rights same-sex couples want to be automatically granted with their marriage licenses.

How do you think U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will impact the fight for equal marriage rights?

Sources: Washington Blade

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