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RAISING THE STAKES

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder: Don’t Listen To Utah. We’ll Recognize Your Marriage

eric holder THIn a move that promises to complicate the already complicated situation in Utah even more, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder took the high-profile step of telling same-sex couples who married in Utah that the federal government will recognize their marriage as valid.

“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,” Mr. Holder said. “These families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status as the litigation unfolds.”

Holder made his comments in a video that was posted to the Justice Department website. While a simple statement would have sufficed, the video highlights the seriousness with which the Obama administration is treating the case.

On Wednesday, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said that the state would not recognize the 1,300 same-sex marriages that took place after a federal judge ruled that the state must allow marriage equality. The marriages were halted after the Supreme Court issued a stay while the state appeals the ruling.

Holder’s move makes it harder for the state to “unwind” marriages that have already taken place. Even if Utah should succeed in its appeal, the federal government’s recognition of the marriages creates a two-tier system that would be ripe for legal challenge.

Holder’s video also makes it clear that having taken such a long time to evolve, the Obama administration now sees itself as an active player in ensuring that marriage equality succeeds across the nation. Today’s action shows the Administration is trying to make up for lost time .

By:           John Gallagher
On:           Jan 10, 2014
Tagged: , , , ,
  • 8 Comments
    • Atomicrob
      Atomicrob

      Bravo, Mr. Holder! Finally the government is treating same sex couples with dignity and respect.

      Jan 10, 2014 at 2:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GayTampaCowboy
      GayTampaCowboy

      Better late than never! Glad to have a powerful advocate in Washington, D.C.

      Jan 10, 2014 at 3:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mpwaite
      mpwaite

      WOW.. I’m so proud of our State Dept right now.. Not been able to say that in a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time. Utah look out.

      Now MY dream is to see Rick Perry unseated in Texas and then see acceptance of gay marriage there… some day.

      Jan 10, 2014 at 3:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DonW
      DonW

      It’s great that the Obama Administration is finally sticking up for us, but these policies could (and probably would) quickly be reversed under a Republican president. They need to be solidified as law, not just executive actions.

      Jan 10, 2014 at 4:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scribe38
      Scribe38

      So nice to have a friend in the white house. I hope he gets another pick for the Supreme Court and the next President is a Democrat, who gets a few more picks at the Supreme Court!

      Jan 11, 2014 at 2:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tada-no
      tada-no

      The next Republican Justice Department will use the same advocacy tactics that is poisoning our legal history. Let the courts duke it out; don’t continue the culture where party controlled legal opinions will play ping pong with gay related laws with every new administration.

      Jan 12, 2014 at 5:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • manjoguy
      manjoguy

      Eric Holder is a despicable politician. I don’t care how “gay friendly” he is.

      Jan 13, 2014 at 11:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mezaien
      Mezaien

      @manjoguy: You obviously don`t know much about Queerty!!!. Eric Holder, support of legalization of Marijuana, what you can offer?.

      Apr 18, 2014 at 8:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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