Many marriage states affirm respect for married same-sex couples in Utah

This month, in the days following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to grant a stay on a federal judge's ruling that struck down anti-marriage laws in Utah, the federal government and states across the country have spoken up in support of the same-sex couples who married in Utah between December 20 and January 6.

Four days after the Supreme Court stayed the ruling, which placed a temporary hold on same-sex couples' freedom to marry in Utah, the United States Department of Justice announced that they would respect the Utah marriages, treating them the same as same-sex couples married in one of the other 17 states with the freedom to marry. These couples will be able to access all of the protections and responsibilities that marriage triggers at the federal level. The state of Utah, however, has announced that they will temporarily NOT honor these marriages. 

Soon after the federal government's announcement, several other states where same-sex couples can marry - including Washington state, Maryland, and Maine - confirmed that they, too, would honor the couples' marriages. 

The Maryland Attorney General, Doug Gansler, spoke with The Washington Blade about the move. He said:

Maryland will continue to recognize valid out-of-state same-sex marriages as we continue to strengthen the Constitution’s promise of equal protection under the law. It is an affront to the idea of basic human rights that the battle for full marriage equality in this country remains in headlines and courtrooms. We’ve just said of course based on our previous opinion, we of course would welcome those couples here. Public policy would dictate that least in those 18 states (in which nuptials for gays and lesbians are legal) the marriages from Utah would be recognized.

The announcements from these states are lawful and correct - and it is likely and expected that all states where same-sex couples can marry will honor these licenses. Even though couples married in Utah are being disrespected by their state, enduring unfair discrimination, these couples are as married as any other couple throughout the country. Freedom to Mary will continue working with state and national partners to ensure that all couples can share in the freedom to marry, no matter where they live. 

Learn more about the freedom to marry in Utah HERE