Federal government recognizes Utah same-sex marriages

By Michelle Kapusta,

The federal government will recognize the unions of more than 1,400 gay couples that were performed in Utah before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the marriages be put on hold.

Reuters reported on Thursday that the nation's largest gay rights group, Human Rights Campaign, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asking that the couples be recognized.

According to the Associated Press, Holder will recognize the Utah marriages that took place before the Supreme Court ruling.

The recognition will allow same-sex couples to receive eligibility for federal benefits.

On Dec. 20, the state of Utah legalized gay marriage when a federal district judge ruled that a ban on the marriages was unconstitutional. His ruling was then put on hold by the Supreme Court this week. The state then said that it will not recognize the marriages performed between Dec. 20 and Monday.

The case will be appealed before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

So far, 17 other states in the country have already legalized same-sex marriages.

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