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US Government Will Recognize Same-Sex Marriage In 6 More States

Gay And Just Married

On Saturday, the federal government announced it will now recognize same-sex marriage in six more states. This news means that same-sex couples in these states will be eligible to receive federal benefits like Social Security benefits for widows and the right to file a joint income tax return.

The states in which same-sex marriage will be recognized are Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming, USA Today reported. The federal government now recognizes same-sex marriage in 32 states along with the District of Columbia.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Eric Holder” author_title=”Attorney General”]

With each new state where same-sex marriages are legally recognized, our nation moves closer to achieving full equality for all Americans.

[/quote]

The move comes after the Supreme Court declined to hear appeals in cases that made gay marriage legal in these states. When the Supreme Court declined to hear any gay marriage cases earlier in October, lower court rulings in favor of same-sex marriage were allowed to stand, clearing the way for gay marriage in 11 states.

Holder also announced that the Justice Department has determined it can recognize same-sex marriages performed in Wisconsin and Indiana in June, CBS News reported. Those marriages were performed after federal district courts struck down the states’ bans on gay marriage, but the status of the marriages performed was made unclear when state officials asked the court system to stay their decision pending an appeal.

Last week, Holder issued a similar statement that the government will recognize gay marriage in Colorado, Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin, the Atlantic reported.

In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman at the federal level. In a recent CBS News poll, 56% of Americans are in favor of legalizing gay marriage, up from just 42% in early 2012. In 1996, the Pew Research Center found just 27% of Americans supported marriage equality.

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