GAY NEWS FLASH: Federal Government Will Recognize Marriage in 7 Latest Marriage Equality States
It’s official: The Justice Department announced today that the federal government will recognize same-sex marriages in seven more U.S. States, meaning couples in Oklahoma, Indiana, Virginia, Utah, Colorado, Wisconsin, and Nevada will be eligible for federal benefits. More from Huffington Post:
The announcement comes one week after the U.S. Supreme Court let stand rulings from three appeals courts that struck down bans on gay and lesbian marriages. That order meant same-sex couples in those states could get married immediately.
The move brings the total number of states where gay and lesbian weddings have federal recognition to 26, plus the District of Columbia.
“With their long-awaited unions, we are slowly drawing closer to full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans nationwide,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a video message.
He said the federal government would work to extend benefits to gay and lesbian couples “to the fullest extent allowed by federal law.” If the Supreme Court decides to take up same-sex marriage directly, the Justice Department will “file a brief consistent with its past support for marriage equality,” Holder said.