- The Washington Times - Friday, October 17, 2014

Attorney General Eric Holder announced Friday that the federal government will recognize same-sex marriages in states affected by the Supreme Court’s recent decision not to review decisions that overturned marriage bans in those states.

“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,” Mr. Holder said. “With their long-awaited unions, we are slowly drawing closer to full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans nationwide.”

Heterosexual-marriage advocates were hoping the Supreme Court would overturn several lower court rulings that legalized same-sex marriage. But instead, the nation’s highest court declined to even hear the case, essentially letting the lower court rulings stand and gay marriage to become legal.

The states chiefly affected by the ruling are Virginia, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah and — as of Friday morning — Arizona. Mr. Holder’s announcement was widely expected by legal experts, who point to the administration’s quick support of same-sex marriage in any state it becomes legal.

“The steady progress toward LGBT equality we’ve seen — and celebrated — is important and historic,” Mr. Holder said. “But 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.”

But Mr. Holder did add that the Justice Department would be ready should the debate about same-sex marriage ever eventually reach the Supreme Court.

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