As per an official announcement made on Saturday, the federal government will recognize same-sex marriages in six new states.
Attorney General Eric Holder announcement follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision previously this month to decline to hear any cases involving same-sex marriage, from five states. The states are Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming.
With an addition of District of Columbia, the total number of states with federal recognition of same-sex marriage totals to 32.
“With each new state where same-sex marriages are legally recognized, our nation moves closer to achieving full equality for all Americans,” Holder said.
“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 gay couples married in those states can avail federal benefits like Social Security and veterans’ benefits.
The decision comes speedy as about a month ago, just 19 states had same-sex marriage. On Oct. 17, A similar announcement was made by Holder for seven states: Colorado, Indiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.
In 2013, the Supreme Court bumps into the Defense of Marriage Act that demarcated marriage at the federal level in exclusively heterosexual terms.
“We will not delay in fulfilling our responsibility to afford every eligible couple, whether same-sex or opposite-sex, the full rights and responsibilities to which they are entitled,” Holder said last week. “With their long-awaited unions, we are slowly drawing closer to full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans nationwide.”
In the middle of his first term, President Obama said in his statement that he was “unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage.” While a US Senate candidate he believed that “marriage is between a man and a woman.” But as he said, “attitudes evolve, including mine,” the attitude seems to evolve literally.