Status of Michigan same-sex marriages (UPDATED)
on Mar 28, 2014 at 11:49 am
UPDATE Friday, 11:10 a.m. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Friday that the federal government will formally recognize and provide marital benefits under federal law to some 300 Michigan same-sex couples who were married last weekend while a lower court ruling was in effect, striking down the state’s ban on such marriages. That ruling has now been put on hold during an appeal by the state to the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. “These Michigan couples will not be asked to wait for further resolution in the courts before they may seek federal benefits to which they are entitled,” Holder said. (The following post was published earlier.)
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said Wednesday that state officials have decided that about three hundred same-sex marriages that were performed in four counties in the state last weekend were legal, but that marital benefits for those couples will be on hold while a federal appeals court ponders the validity of a state ban on such unions. The governor’s statement is here.
The governor said the state’s refusal to recognize those new marriages for purposes of benefits was based on the fact that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on Tuesday had postponed a federal judge’s decision striking down the state ban. State officials have appealed that decision to the Sixth Circuit, and the challengers have asked that court to put the review on an expedited schedule.