Move Over Utah, U.S. to Recognize State's Same-Sex Marriages

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 10 2014 1:59 PM

Federal Government Says It Will Recognize Utah's Same-Sex Marriages

454333985-the-father-of-a-bride-wears-a-rainbow-flag-during-the
The federal government will recognize same-sex couples married in Utah despite the state's stance.

Photo by YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images

Two days after Utah declared it would not recognize same-sex marriage licenses issued by…Utah, the federal government says that it will. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder made the announcement in a video posted on the Justice Department’s website.

"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,” he said.

Advertisement

Federal marriage benefits include the ability to file joint federal income tax returns, exemption from estate taxes when a spouse dies, health insurance for spouses of federal employees, and the ability to sponsor a spouse for an immigration visa. Holder has been commended by the Human Rights Campaign, which lobbied hard for the decision.

The news affects some 1,300 same-sex couples who were granted marriage licenses after a federal district court ruled the state’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitional. The state of Utah has fought to block the marriages and succeeded temporarily when the Supreme Court issued a stay earlier this week, halting marriages until an appeals court can rule on the issue.

Elsewhere in Slate: Elliot Hannon describes the legal limbo for Utah’s same-sex couples.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Buy a Small Business
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 PM Inking the Deal Why tattoo parlors are a great small-business bet.
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?