The federal government has just announced that it will recognize same-sex marriages performed in Utah over a 17-day period, until the Supreme Court put a federal judge’s ruling on hold this week.
Attorney general Eric Holder said today that same-sex couples “should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status,” according to NBC News.
“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 said. “These families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status as the litigation unfolds.”
About 1360 same-sex couples married when U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby ruled that Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. His order was effective immediately.
But the Republican Governor of Utah, Gary Herbert and his Attorney General petitioned the Supreme Court and on Monday the Court stayed Shelby’s ruling until a federal court of appeals rules on the case.
But for now, 1360 same-sex couples are in legal purgatory. Exceptionally important life issues like health and life insurance, taxes, adoptions, driver’s licenses, social security, and other local, state, and federal issues were up in the air.
And even though the state won’t recognize their unions, Utah’s same-sex couples know where the federal government stands.
Image by Ben Winslow and @fox13now via Twitter
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