WASHINGTON - U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government will recognize same-sex marriages recently performed in Utah.
Holder's decision will allow more than 1,000 same-sex couples who were married in Utah between Dec. 20 and Jan. 6 to receive federal benefits.
"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," said Holder. "These families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status as the litigation unfolds."
CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO OF HOLDER'S ANNOUNCEMENT
Utah's Amendment 3 was declared unconstitutional by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby on Dec. 20, opening the way for same-ex couples to marry. Amendment 3 was passed into law in Nov. 2004, effectively banning gay marriage in Utah.
Shelby's summary judgement ruling set off a flurry of same-sex marriages until the U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay on Jan. 6 on behalf of the State of Utah, halting marriages until the issue could go through the appeals process.
More than 1,000 Utah couples were licensed and married during the 17-day moratorium, but that didn't stop Utah Governor Gary Herbert from announcing that the state would not recognize the marriages until the issue could be settled in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
More than 150 same-sex couples were licensed in Davis County during the moratorium.
Stay connected with davisclipper.com for updates on this developing story.