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Holder: US government will recognize same-sex marriages in six more states

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Saturday the U.S. government will recognize same-sex marriages in six more states, bringing to 32 the number of states where couples in gay unions qualify for federal benefits.

Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming were added to the list on Saturday, a week after Holder made a similar announcement concerning seven other states.

The move comes after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals of cases that sought to overturn bans on same-sex marriages. In addition to the 32 states, gay marriages are recognized in the District of Columbia.

The Justice Department’s stand on the unions means the couples qualify for benefits administered by the Social Security Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs and other federal entities.

“We are acting as quickly as possible with agencies throughout the government to ensure that same-sex couples in these states receive the fullest array of benefits allowable under federal law,” Holder said.

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(Reporting and writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Stephen Powell)


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House GOP group wants to pressure Amazon into selling gay conversion therapy books written by long-debunked quack

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A key bloc of House Republicans is planning to put pressure on Amazon to once again start selling "gay conversion therapy" books that the website had previously removed for peddling a dangerous, pseudo-scientific procedure that has been linked to suicide and mental health problems.

Vice News reports that the Republican Study Group issued a handout to its members this week encouraging them to raise concerns about "Amazon censorship" of books written by Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, the late clinical psychologist who has been credited with pioneering so-called gay conversion therapy techniques.

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American Islamic State ‘sniper’ charged in New York: Justice Dept

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A naturalized American who was a sniper for the Islamic State group has been charged in New York with material support for a terror group after being captured in Syria and repatriated to the United States, the Justice Department announced Friday.

Kazakhstan-born Ruslan Maratovich Asainov fought for the Islamic State in Syria for five years before he was captured by the Syrian Democratic Forces and handed over to US custody, the department said.

Asainov, 43, was brought back to the United States on Thursday and was to be arraigned Friday afternoon in federal court in Brooklyn.

He fought for IS in Syria from 2013 to 2018 as a sniper and a weapons trainer for other combatants.

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WATCH: Employee at Tim Hortons slurs Muslim couple and tells them ‘go back to your own country’

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According to a report from Deadline Detroit, a Muslim advocacy group has filed a complaint against a local Tim Horton's location after an employee insulted a Muslim couple and told them to "go back to their own country," followed by a sexist slur.

The report states Alaa Kouider and her husband, Ameur Dhaimini, were purchasing coffee at the local fast food location when they got into an argument with the cashier.

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