Kevin Patterson, left, and David Larance kiss after exchanging vows, as Rev. John Dorhaer, who performed the ceremony, stands at right, Oct. 17, 2014, in Phoenix, Ariz.
Photo by Rick Scuteri/AP

Government recognizes same sex marriages in six new states


The federal government will now recognize marriages between same-sex couples in six more states, Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Saturday.

Same-sex married couples in Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming will now qualify for Social Security benefits and other types of social insurance typically reserved for married couples.

“With each new state where same-sex marriages are legally recognized, our nation moves closer to achieving of full equality for all Americans,” said Holder in a Justice Department statement.

“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.” he added.

The announcement comes barely one week after a similar Justice Department decree regarding Colorado, Indiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin. As of now, most states in the United States – 32, to be exact – have federally recognition of same-sex marriage.

Although marriage equality has consistently become more accepted and widely available over the past several years, its rapid expansion over the past few months has still been singularly dramatic. About a month ago, just 19 states had same-sex marriage.