HRC Calls on Marriage Equality States to Recognize Utah Marriages

by Charles Joughin

WASHINGTON – Today the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, called on the 18 states where same-sex marriages are recognized to extend that recognition to the more than 1,300 gay and lesbian couples who entered into legal marriages in Utah.

 “There is no legal reason to question the validity of these more than 1,300 marriages,” HRC President Chad Griffin wrote in a letter to the states’ attorneys general. “I urge you to issue an advisory opinion declaring that treating all legally-conferred marriages consistently as a matter of equal protection and basic justice is consistent with the public policy of your state.”

 Same-sex couples in Utah were legally empowered to marry beginning on December 20th and ending on Monday, January 6th, when the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the lower court’s decision while it is on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

 Despite the stay, even Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes has suggested that benefits may flow to these couples in other states that recognize marriage equality. “It’s not invalidating it in the same way that if they went to Hawaii, they could potentially apply for benefits there based on the marriage that took place,” Reyes said to Utah reporters.

 To read Griffin’s letter to the attorneys general, click here.

 The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.


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