The Human Rights Campaign is urging U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to ensure full federal recognition of the more than 1,000 gay and lesbian couples who have married in Arkansas and Wisconsin since those states’ bans on marriage equality were struck down in recent weeks.
Earlier this year, HRC president Chad Griffin made similar requests of Holder on behalf of same-sex couples wed under similar circumstances in Utah and Michigan.
“There is no legal reason to question the validity of these more than 1,000 marriages,” Griffin wrote in a letter to the attorney general. “Each was legally performed by a clerk representing the states of Arkansas and Wisconsin, in accordance with each state’s statutes and constitution. There is simply no reason for the U.S. government not to extend federal recognition to these couples.”
“I hope that your office will once again seize the mantle of leadership, as you did in Utah and Michigan, and ensure that lawfully married couples in Arkansas and Wisconsin receive the equal treatment that they deserve,” he continued.
More than 450 same-sex couples in Arkansas were legally empowered to marry May 6-14, until the Arkansas Supreme Court issued a stay on Pulaski County Circuit Court’s decision pending appeal.
In Wisconsin, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, but stayed her decision a week later after 550 couples wed in the state.