Karine Jean-Pierre
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Marriage Equality Recognized in Six More States By Federal Government

Marriage Equality Recognized in Six More States By Federal Government

Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that the federal government will now recognize same-sex marriage the states of Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, Wyoming, and West Virginia, reports CBS News.

This brings the total number of states where same-sex marriage is recognized at a federal level to 32, in addition to the District of Columbia.

Same-sex couples who married in those states following the recent wave of historic marriage equality wins are now eligible for several federal benefits, which include veterans’ and Social Security benefits.

"With each new state where same-sex marriages are legally recognized, our nation moves closer to achieving of full equality for all Americans," the attorney general said in a statement. "We are acting as quickly as possible with agencies throughout the government to ensure that same-sex married couples in these states receive the fullest array of benefits allowable under federal law."

The news follows on the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision earlier this month not to hear a series of cases regarding same-sex marriage, which allowed the previous favorable rulings on marriage equality by lower courts to stand in several states.  

Despite the rapidly changing landscape of marriage equality in the U.S., a few state officials aren't giving up their antigay litigation, including Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, and Montana Governor Steve Bullock.

Antigay groups such as the National Organization for Marriage are also desperately clinging to their defense of same-sex marriage bans. NOM Chair John Eastman told reporters earlier this week, "Until the Supreme Court decides it, this remains a viable option." 

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