Obama administration recognizes Utah same-sex marriages
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The Obama administration said on Friday it will recognize same-sex marriages in Utah - even though the state will not do so - and will provide federal benefits to about 1,400 gay couples who wed there before the Supreme Court halted the nuptials this week.
President Barack Obama's Justice Department took the step two days after Gary Herbert, the Republican governor of the conservative, predominantly Mormon state, said Utah would not recognize, at least for now, the marriages of gay couples who rushed to wed after a federal judge's December 20 ruling briefly allowed such marriages.
"These marriages will be recognized as lawful and considered eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages," US Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.
"These families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status as the litigation unfolds," Mr Holder said.