Natalie Dicou (L) and her partner Nicole Christensen wait to get married at the Salt Lake County Clerks office in Salt Lake City, Utah, December 20, 2013. A federal judge struck down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional on Friday, handing a major victory to gay rights activists in a conservative state where the Mormon church wields considerable influence. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY) - RTX16Q0I

Here's a little ray of light for the 1,300 Utah couples whose own state government considers their marriages on hold after the Supreme Court granted a stay of a district court decision overturning the state's same-sex marriage ban: The Obama administration will recognize those marriages. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that:

"Recently, an administrative step by the Court has cast doubt on same-sex marriages that have been performed in the state of Utah. And the governor has announced that the state will not recognize these marriages pending additional Court action.

"In the meantime, I am confirming today that, for purposes of federal law, these marriages will be recognized as lawful and considered eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages. These families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status as the litigation unfolds. In the days ahead, we will continue to coordinate across the federal government to ensure the timely provision of every federal benefit to which Utah couples and couples throughout the country are entitled – regardless of whether they in same-sex or opposite-sex marriages."

This is great news, but the story is incomplete. The promise of equality isn't realized and these couples have only partial justice.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 09:16 AM PST.

Also republished by Kossacks for Marriage Equality and Daily Kos.

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