Earlier this week, the governor of Utah said that the state will not recognize some 1,300 same-sex marriages performed in the state last month. Today, Attorney General Eric Holder said the federal government will.
From Fox News:
The decision means those Utah couples will have access to federal benefits that are available to married couples in other states, including the ability to file joint tax returns. It also adds to the confusion in the state following a surprise ruling last month against the state’s same-sex marriage ban.
Holder is quoted as saying:
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.
Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage weighed in. In a statement he wrote:
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.