US to recognize same-sex marriages in seven new states

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The federal government is recognizing same-sex marriages in seven more states.

The states are Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado and Nevada.

The Justice Department says it will ensure that same-sex couples in those states are given federal benefits as soon as possible.

Those states were affected by a recent Supreme Court order on same-sex marriage. The order let stand rulings from three appeals courts that struck down bans on same-sex marriages.

The announcement brings the total of number of states where same-sex marriages have federal recognition to 26, plus the District of Columbia.

Attorney General Eric Holder says the country is drawing "closer to full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans nationwide."