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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.

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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.

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


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2020 Election

Trump says GOP is pulling Republican National Convention from North Carolina

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — President Donald Trump announced Tuesday night that he is seeking a new state to host this summer’s Republican National Convention after host North Carolina refused to guarantee the event could be held in Charlotte without restrictions because of ongoing concerns over the coronavirus.Trump announced the news via tweet, complaining the state's governor, Democrat Roy Cooper, and other officials "refuse to guarantee that we can have use of the Spectrum Arena" and were not "allowing us to occupy the arena as originally anticipated and promised.""Because of @NC_Governor, we are... (more…)

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Controversial Contractors for Trump’s highly-criticized $3 billion food aid program hire lobbyist to tout their work

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Companies receiving taxpayer dollars as part of President Donald Trump’s signature food aid program hired a longtime lobbyist to push back on criticism that the government is relying on unqualified contractors, such as an event planner.

“We’re working to take the stories of the impact this is having on farmers, processors, distributors and end users and making sure some positive aspects of the program, from both the economic and social standpoints, are out there too,” said the lobbyist and industry consultant, Dale Apley, who reached out to ProPublica on behalf of the contractors. “It’s not all just certain stories about certain companies that maybe shouldn’t have been awarded contracts.”

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Ivanka Trump ‘urged’ Trump’s Bible photo-op — which could become a ‘defining moment’ of his presidency: NYT

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First daughter and senior White House advisor Ivanka Trump "urged" her father to take part in a controversial photo-op with a Bible according to a new report from The New York Times.

"After a weekend of protests that led all the way to his own front yard and forced him to briefly retreat to a bunker beneath the White House, President Trump arrived in the Oval Office on Monday agitated over the television images, annoyed that anyone would think he was hiding and eager for action," the newspaper reported.

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