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Holder Says Federal Government Will Recognize Michigan Gay Marriages

Attorney General Eric Holder said on Friday that the federal government would recognize the 300 same-sex marriages that took place in Michigan in between two conflicting court rulings.

As we reported last week, a federal judge struck down Michigan's ban on gay marriage. The judge did not, as others have, stay his ruling so marriages took place for about a day, before another judge issued a stay, halting marriages pending an appeal.

In a statement, Holder said despite the fact that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said the state won't recognize the marriages, the federal government will extend federal benefits, which are also given to married heterosexual couples, to the newly-married same-sex couples.

Holder added:

"Last June's decision by the Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor was a victory for equal protection under the law and a historic step toward equality for all American families. The Department of Justice continues to work with its federal partners to implement this decision across the government. And we will remain steadfast in our commitment to realizing our country's founding ideals of equality, opportunity, and justice for all."

Holder said this decision is in line with what his department decided in Utah.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.