Last week, the United States Supreme Court declined to review rulings from three federal appeals courts that had struck down bans on same-sex marriage in five states across the country. As a result of this, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Friday that the government will extend federal benefits to same-sex married couples in seven states where federal appeals courts have struck down bans on the unions.
The government will be recognizing same-sex marriages in seven new states with more likely to follow. This brings the total number of states where same-sex marriages are federally recognized to 26, plus the District of Columbia.
Holder pledged to extend all applicable federal benefits to same-sex married couples to the fullest extent allowed by federal law and said that if the Supreme Court decides to address the constitutionality of state bans on same-sex marriage, the Justice Department is prepared to file a brief consistent with its past support for marriage equality.
Watch Holder’s announcement in the video above.