Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday that the federal government will recognize about 300 same-sex marriages performed in Michigan before a federal appeals court halted them, despite a decision by Michigan’s governor not to recognize those unions.
The decision means federal benefits will be extended to those couples — including the ability to file taxes jointly, get Social Security benefits for spouses and request legal immigration status for partners.
“These families will be eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages,” Holder said in a statement.
The announcement Friday morning is Holder’s latest entry into the state-level same-sex marriage debate. Holder did the same thing in Utah, where more than 1,000 same-sex couples got married, before the Supreme Court put those unions on hold in January after a federal judge overturned the conservative state’s same-sex marriage ban in December.
Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman struck down Michigan’s gay marriage ban.
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