Well, we’ve come a long way in our “evolution” on this issue. President Obama is now overruling a state’s wishes on gay marriage.
Attorney General Eric Holder today announced that the federal government would recognize gay marriages performed in Utah – unions the state has refused to recognize while the courts decide whether to allow further same-sex marriages.
In a video posted on the Justice Department’s website, Holder said:
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.
These families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status as the litigation unfolds. In the days ahead, we will continue to coordinate across the federal government to ensure the timely provision of every federal benefit to which Utah couples and couples throughout the country are entitled – regardless of whether they in same-sex or opposite-sex marriages. And we will continue to provide additional information as soon as it becomes available.
Same sex marriage in deeply conservative Utah became an issue when a federal district judge ruled in December that the state constitution’s ban violated the U.S. Constitution.
Immediately, same-sex marriages took off in the state, but were halted when the Supreme Court issued a stay of the lower court’s ruling. At that point, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said the state would not recognize the marriages that had occurred until its appeal of the district court judge’s ruling was decided.