The marriages of more than 1,000 same-sex couples that took place in Utah before the Supreme Court put those unions on hold will be considered legal by the federal government, reports U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
The announcement comes in response to a statement released by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s office, which declared the state would not recognize those marriages until further court action is taken.
The newly married couples in Utah will be eligible for all federal benefits. Since last June, the Justice Department has been working to implement the United States v. Windsor decision, which entitles Americans in same-sex marriages the same protections and treatment under the law.
“This ruling marked a historic step toward equality for all American families,” Holder said.