By Rebecca Shabad - 01/10/14 12:44 PM EST
Attorney General Eric Holder said on Friday the federal government will recognize same-sex marriages in Utah, even though state officials declared they won’t.
“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,” Holder said in a video posted on the Justice Department’s website. “These families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status as the litigation unfolds.”
Gov. Gary Herbert’s (R) chief of staff sent a letter to his Cabinet on Tuesday directing them to comply legally with a hold the U.S. Supreme Court issued a day earlier.
“State recognition of same-sex marital status is ON HOLD until further notice. Please understand this position is not intended to comment on the legal status of those same-sex marriages — that is for the courts to decide,” the letter said.