The U.S. Attorney General announced that the federal government will recognize the marriages of more than 1,000 same-sex couples performed in Utah.
On December 20, a federal judge struck down Utah's ban on marriage equality, saying it was unconstitutional. Couples were married immediately following the ruling until the US Supreme Court issued a stay on January 6. Utah governor's office said that all marriages performed for over 1,300 gay couples in the state before the stay are not to be recognized.
"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," said Attorney General Holder. "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."
"The White House and Attorney General Holder are bringing some stability to the Utah couples and families who have had an emotional and legal roller coaster over the last several weeks," said GLAAD National Spokesperson, Wilson Cruz. "While Utah has put families through so much uncertainty, the White House has demonstrated true leadership and support for loving couples and families."
Just yesterday, GLAAD hosted a Google+ Hangout to discuss the legal saga of marriage equality in Utah. The panel featured the first couple married in Utah, whose Twitter stream documented the unfolding events on December 20. Also featured were Chris Geidner of Buzzfeed, Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry, and Spencer Clark of Mormons for Equality. You can watch the discussion below.