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01/10/2014

DOJ recognizes married Utahns realities as reality

by Jeremy Hooper

The cool news of the A.M.:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

STATEMENT BY ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER
ON FEDERAL RECOGNITION OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGES IN UTAH

WASHINGTON—Attorney General Eric Holder issued the following statement today on the status of same-sex marriages performed in the state of Utah:

“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 are in same-sex or opposite-sex marriages. And we will continue to provide additional information as soon as it becomes available.”

A video recording of the Attorney General delivering the above statement can be viewed at: www.justice.gov/video.php.

###

While everyone is rightly applauding this principled stand from an administration that has our back, to me this is one of the more obvious "cool news" moves in recent memory. It's a complete and utter no-brainer, really. These marriages were lawfully performed; they are valid marriages. It is the governor of Utah who is grossly in the wrong, a truth that I expect will further crystallize over the next few months.

***

**Shocker—NOM's mad: National Organization for Marriage Condemns Obama Administration for Abandoning the Rule of Law and Fundamental Constitutional Principles [NOM]

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