Federal Government To Recognize Same Sex Marriages From Indiana
Attorney General Eric Holder (image courtesy of Department of Justice)
Same sex marriages that took place in Indiana are now recognized as legal by the federal government.
"We will not delay in fulfilling our responsibility to afford every eligible couple, whether same-sex or opposite-sex, the full rights and responsibilities to which they are entitled," said Attorney General Eric Holder in a video released on the website of the Department of Justice. Holder said the federal government would recognize marriages taking place in the states affected the Supreme Court's decision last week to decline to review rulings from several states, including Indiana. Earlier today, the court declined to review the same-sex marriage ban that was struck down in Alaska, making it the 31st state where gay marriage is now legal.
Even before the Supreme Court declined to hear Indiana's appeal, the ACLU of Indiana and others asked Holder to affirm the right to federal marriage benefits for couples who were married in Indiana during the earlier two-day window in June when same-sex marriage was legal. Supporters also wanted federal recognition for couples who lived in Indiana but were married in states where gay marriage already was legal. Holder has long supported same sex marriage; he and President Obama decided in 2011 to stop the Justice Department's defense of a key section of the federal Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA), which was eventually struck down by the Supreme Court in 2013.
"There remain too many places in this country where men and women cannot visit their partners in the hospital, or be recognized as the rightful parents of their own adopted children; where people can be discriminated against just because they are gay," Holder said.
Same sex marriages that took place in Indiana and other states are now recognized as legal by the federal government.