US /

Feds Will Recognize Utah's Gay Marriages

Justice Department takes opposite stance of state as matter goes through courts
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2014 11:38 AM CST
Feds Will Recognize Utah's Gay Marriages
Angela Marinez, left, embraces her wife Monique Lobato after being married in the lobby of the Salt Lake County offices on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013.   (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Francisco Kjolseth)

Because the status of in-limbo gay couples who got married in Utah wasn't confusing enough: The Justice Department said today that it will recognize their marriages, even though the state won't, reports NBC News. It's no small thing: This means that the more than 1,000 couples who got married in a 17-day window—from when a federal judge declared the state's ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional to when the Supreme Court ordered a halt to the weddings until the matter is decided in the courts—will be eligible for federal benefits.

"These families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status as the litigation unfolds," says the announcement from Attorney General Eric Holder. The move comes one day after the Human Rights Campaign, the biggest gay-rights group in the US, asked the feds to act, notes AP. (More Utah stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.