Gay rights groups on Friday cheered the
Obama administration's decision to recognize the more than 1,300
marriage licenses Utah issued to gay and lesbian couples during the
17 days when such unions were legal in the state. The announcement
comes two days after Utah officials said they would not recognize the
marriage licenses issued by the state.
government to recognize Utah gay marriages.)
Chad Griffin, president of the Human
Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate,
applauded Attorney General Eric Holder's announcement.
“These 1,360 Utah couples are
married, plain and simple, and they should be afforded every right
and responsibility of marriage,” Griffin said in a statement.
“Attorney General Eric Holder has once again shown the kind of
leadership that earns you a spot in the history books. This is only
the beginning of this fight, and this work continues until marriage
equality returns to Utah for good, and full equality reaches every
American in all 50 states.”
Also cheering was Evan Wolfson, founder
and president of Freedom to Marry.
“The Attorney General’s
determination that the federal government must respect married
same-sex couples in Utah as what they are – married – is lawful,
predictable, and correct. Even though the 1000+ couples married in
Utah are encountering unfair treatment and disrespect by their home
state and the other remaining states that discriminate, these couples
are as married as any couple on the planet. As cases move forward in
Utah and numerous states around the country, Freedom to Marry will
continue working until all couples share in the freedom to marry and
all marriages are respected throughout the United States. We applaud
the Attorney General and the Administration for their fidelity to the
law, the freedom to marry, and the Constitution's command of
equality,” Wolfson said in an emailed statement.