US government approves gay marriages in six more states
WASHINGTON: US Attorney General Eric Holder said on
Saturday that the US government will recognise same-sex marriages in six more
states, bringing to 32 the number of states where couples in gay unions qualify
for federal benefits.
Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia
and Wyoming were added to the list on Saturday, a week after Holder made a
similar announcement concerning seven other states.
The move comes after the US Supreme Court declined to
hear appeals of cases that sought to overturn bans on same-sex marriages. In
addition to the 32 states, gay marriages are recognised in the District of
The Justice Department’s stand on the unions means the
couples qualify for benefits administered by the Social Security
Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs and other federal entities.
“We are acting as
quickly as possible with agencies throughout the government to ensure that
same-sex couples in these states receive the fullest array of benefits
allowable under federal law,” Holder said.