Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Feds recognize same-sex couples in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday that the federal government will recognize same-sex unions in Utah, marking the latest significant show of support for gay marriage from the Obama administration.

The action means that more than 1,000 same-sex couples who were married in Utah in the past month can file federal taxes jointly, get Social Security benefits for spouses and request legal immigration status for partners, among other benefits.

The declaration by Holder marked the latest chapter in the legal battle over same-sex marriage in Utah that has sent couples and state officials on a helter-skelter wave of emotions over the past three weeks.

A federal judge overturned Utah's ban on same-sex marriage on Dec. 20, and hundreds of couples got married. The U.S. Supreme Court intervened this week and put a halt to the weddings until the courts sort out the matter. Utah then declared it would not recognize the weddings but would allow couples to continue to receive whatever benefits they had obtained before the high court ruling.

The Mormon church weighed in again Friday, instructing local leaders that same-sex wedding ceremonies and receptions are prohibited in its churches and reiterating its belief that homosexuality is not condoned by God.

But for same-sex couples who have experienced a wave of emotions, the show of support from the federal government provided validation and turned a rally at the Utah Capitol into a raucous celebration.

Among the hundreds of people who packed the rotunda for the midday rally were Seth Anderson and Michael Ferguson, the first gay couple to legally marry in Utah following the Dec. 20 ruling. They said they were elated to hear that they will be allowed to file taxes jointly and enjoy the benefits afforded any married couple.

"It is a great feeling to know the federal government stands with us, especially in a state that has for years tried to exclude us," Anderson said.

Feds recognize same-sex couples in Utah 01/10/14 [Last modified: Friday, January 10, 2014 10:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Live from St. Pete: Kriseman, Baker square off in TV debate

    Local

    ST. PETERSBURG — The mayoral race goes into the home stretch starting Tuesday.

  2. Five ideas for cooking with ground turkey

    Cooking

    I rarely cook with ground beef. Ground turkey became the go-to ground protein in my kitchen years ago. As meats go, it's pretty ideal: not a ton of raw meat juices, easy enough to cook in a pinch, more flavor than ground chicken. I sub turkey in for just about any recipe that calls for ground beef, except on …

    Siraracha Turkey Skewers are accompanied by jasmine rice and carrot-cucumber slaw.
  3. SOCom moves to bring growing Warrior Games for injured troops to Tampa

    Macdill

    TAMPA — The military established special games for ill and injured troops and veterans in 2010, and the annual event drew crowds of up to 5,000 to the bases that hosted them — until this summer.

    Medically retired Marine Corps Sgt. Mike Nicholson of Tampa participates in the 2017 Warrior Games in Chicago on July 2.
  4. The Daystarter: Tampa courts Warrior Games; McCain returns for health care vote; Kriseman, Baker debate tonight; Jones on McCoy's puzzling pattern of tantrums

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    President Donald Trump on Monday urged senators to vote in favor of an overhaul of the Affordable Care Act. [ Washington Post]
  5. Trump sprinkles political attacks into Scout Jamboree speech

    GLEN JEAN, W.Va. — Ahead of President Donald Trump's appearance Monday at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, the troops were offered some advice on the gathering's official blog: Fully hydrate. Be "courteous" and "kind." And avoid the kind of divisive chants heard during the 2016 campaign such as "build …

    President Donald Trump addresses the Boy Scouts of America's 2017 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve in Glen Jean, W.Va., July 24, 2017. [New York Times]