[Breaking] Attorney General Eric Holder: Federal Government Will Now Recognize Same-Sex Marriages Across All 50 States

on February 08 2014 3:33 PM
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U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder looks on during a special naturalization ceremony at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., May 28, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Attorney General Eric Holder has said he will extend federal recognition of same-sex marriages to all states, including those in which they are not legal or recognized currently at the state level, CNN reported.

Holder will make his full announcement Saturday night at the Human Rights Campaign New York Gala, where he is scheduled to be a featured speaker. The Justice Department will also issue a memo on Monday that recognizes same-sex marriages “to the greatest extent possible under law.”

The announcement is the latest in a string of victories for marriage equality activists in the U.S. Last June the Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as a union only between a man and a woman, was unconstitutional.

The Justice Department also recently recognized a number of same-sex marriages in Utah after the state refused to recognize them, after a state ban was overturned in court.

Federal recognition of marriages allow couples to file joint federal income tax returns and receive spousal benefits, like health insurance.

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