Eric Holder | Gay Marriage | News | Utah

Obama Administration Says It Will Recognize Utah Same-Sex Marriages


The Obama administration said Friday that it would recognize same-sex marriages performed in Utah before the Supreme Court issued a stay on a lower court ruling striking down the state's ban.

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Said Attorney General Eric Holder:

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. 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.

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Earlier this week, Utah's Governor Gary Herbert put the state's recognition of the marriages "on hold".

Click HERE for a big Utah update about ongoing marriage lawsuits that we posted yesterday.

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  1. Some of those couples could file federal taxes NOW or at least in the next couple of weeks. That will be tons of legal fun when you have the US gov accepting them as married.

    Posted by: Homo Genius | Jan 10, 2014 12:28:40 PM

  2. Thank you Mr. President. Don't care what anyone says, POTUS has been first-rate when it comes to advancing LGBT rights. More than any other president.

    But I suppose this just means GLAAD will be giving ANOTHER award to Bill Clinton.

    Posted by: Red | Jan 10, 2014 12:31:08 PM

  3. Quite proper.

    An order of the court, judge Shelby, stands until the order is set aside.

    A 'stay' is not a setting aside.
    The law stands.
    A political hack such as the Governor, has no role to play in the judicial process....and should butt out.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jan 10, 2014 12:34:20 PM

  4. Bravo, AG Holder & President Obama! I've never been more proud to be an American! ...did AG Holder just slap down SCOTUS? I think he did!

    Posted by: DamSexy | Jan 10, 2014 12:42:46 PM


    Posted by: WayneMPLS | Jan 10, 2014 12:45:02 PM

  6. Excellent news. As Holder says, "These families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status as the litigation unfolds." And the Obama administration weighing in on this changes the tone.

    It's also another example of why it matters who's in the White House. I can't imagine a Republican administration (and clearly the Romney administration would have been in Utah's pocket) taking this action.

    See you in Court, Herbert.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jan 10, 2014 12:49:45 PM

  7. Power to the gay people, baby!

    Posted by: Jack M | Jan 10, 2014 12:49:53 PM

  8. Hooray!

    Posted by: barney | Jan 10, 2014 12:51:53 PM

  9. gee, i wonder what willard's attorney general would have done?

    Posted by: woody | Jan 10, 2014 12:52:04 PM

  10. This was the right decision. I am so proud of the Obama administration!

    I never thought that I would live to see the day where I could marry the man I love and all my friends and family would celebrate at my wedding, and the government would recognize my marriage as valid. Boy was I ever wrong!

    Posted by: Howard B | Jan 10, 2014 12:52:04 PM

  11. Ha Ha. Suck it UT. Hopefully the inevitable law suits that follow will repeat as they did in CA!!!

    Posted by: jakeinlove | Jan 10, 2014 1:07:20 PM

  12. Phyllis Schlafly just soiled her panty liners.

    Posted by: MARCUS BACHMANN | Jan 10, 2014 1:21:49 PM

  13. Obama Administration - continues its march toward equality

    Posted by: reality | Jan 10, 2014 2:17:56 PM

  14. Bravo. Actually many may not be aware of the crucial role the admin. has played in the DOMA Windsor case. It refused to defend DOMA but at the same time still upholding it. Their intention was obviously to push it up to the Supreme Court for its destruction. The House Repugs took the bait and made themselves looked foolish.

    Posted by: simon | Jan 10, 2014 2:24:40 PM

  15. Tell it Red, tell the truth and the choir said Amen.

    Posted by: Larry | Jan 10, 2014 2:25:00 PM

  16. Somebody just gave em the ole F. Utah

    Posted by: Jerry | Jan 10, 2014 2:55:01 PM

  17. So is that one guy going to start starving himself again? Or since its Federal and not state, maybe he should just do like a half-measure... you know, like half of one meal per day. Yeah, that might work.

    Posted by: Lucas H | Jan 10, 2014 3:27:09 PM

  18. @ Lucas H: very funny response! You should tweet that suggestion to the would be martyr.

    Posted by: Drew | Jan 10, 2014 3:47:10 PM

  19. "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."

    Um... should these be considered on the same terms as all other legal marriages of any kind? Or is the federal government still placing same-sex marriages in a separate category?

    Posted by: Gregory In Seattle | Jan 10, 2014 3:54:37 PM

  20. Yes, and with 2013 taxes now about to be filed, and all kinds of other things these couples can file for on the federal level during the interim, they will have actual proof of real damages going forward if/when future challenges are made.

    Posted by: Lexis | Jan 10, 2014 3:58:23 PM

  21. Great point by Lexus above!

    Posted by: RonCharles | Jan 10, 2014 4:13:31 PM

  22. "With this move, the Department of Justice under this administration signals that it simply has no regard for the Constitution and the rule of law," NOM President Brian Brown said in a written statement.
    This "important" announcement finally reached Fox news.

    Posted by: simon | Jan 10, 2014 4:15:40 PM

  23. If there are any gays wondering just what good it did to vote for President Barack Obama, here's the answer.

    Posted by: RonCharles | Jan 10, 2014 4:16:08 PM

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