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Obama administration to recognize Utah same-sex marriages

Obama administration to recognize Utah same-sex marriages

The federal government will recognize the marriages of same-sex couples performed in Utah during a brief period in which same-sex marriages were allowed, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Friday.

“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 in a video statement.

On Dec. 20, federal District Judge Robert Shelby struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriages. Monday, the Supreme Court halted new same-sex marriages pending Utah’s appeal of Shelby’s decision. Between Dec. 20 and Monday, hundreds of same-sex marriages were performed.

Wednesday, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s office announced that recognition of the same-sex marriages performed during the short window would also be on hold pending the appeal.

Friday, however, the federal government said it would be recognizing them.

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