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Feds asked to recognize Wisconsin's same-sex marriages

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  The nation's attorney general is being asked to give federal recognition to the 500-plus same-sex weddings in Wisconsin this month. Among other things, it could give those couples a federal income tax break by letting them file jointly.

U-S Senate Democrat Tammy Baldwin and Wisconsin House Democrats Ron Kind, Gwen Moore, and Mark Pocan wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder yesterday, asking him to legalize the marriages performed last week. That was after Federal Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that the state's gay marriage ban was unconstitutional, but before she put her ruling on hold until it's appealed. The four Democrats said Holder previously recognized marriages in Michigan and Utah under similar circumstances. The same-sex couples who got married last week could qualify for Social Security survivor benefits, and can help foreign spouses with immigration issues. And if they're federal employees or military personnel, their spouses could get health, retirement, and other benefits.

A spokeswoman for the U-S Justice Department says she's monitoring the Wisconsin developments, and is not commenting further for now.