11 Jan 2014

Federal govt to recognise same-sex marriages in Utah

9:00 am on 11 January 2014

The United States government says it will give full federal backing to more than 1000 same-sex marriages in Utah that the state refuses to recognise.

Attorney-General Eric Holder says gay and lesbian couples who had married in Utah would be eligible for federal benefits enjoyed by other couples.

A federal judge overturned a state law banning same-sex marriage in December.

The Supreme Court on Monday temporarily blocked any further same-sex marriages in Utah after the state filed an emergency request to stay the judge's ruling.

About 1300 marriage licences for same-sex couples were issued before Governor Gary Herbert instructed state officials not to recognise such marriages.