(CNN) - The U.S. Justice Department says it will, for federal purposes, recognize same-sex marriages performed for a short period in Utah.
The state of Utah has already said it will not recognize those same marriages.
Holder said in a video statement:
"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."
About 1,000 gay and lesbian couples tied the knot after a federal judge ruled last month that Utah's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.
The U.S. Supreme Court later blocked enforcement of that ruling until the issue is fully resolved in court.
A federal appeals court could hold oral arguments as soon as March.
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