U.S. News


Mich. Same-Sex Marriages Recognized On Federal Level

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced the federal government will recognize same-sex marriages in Michigan despite an appeals court's stay.
Posted at 6:21 PM, Mar 28, 2014

Good news for some Michigan couples. Same-sex marriage ceremonies performed Saturday will be recognized by the federal government despite an appeals court judge issuing a stay on the unions.

In a statement Friday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder declared those marriages would be recognized on a federal level despite the state's decision. He made a similar decision in January regarding marriages in Utah.

Holder adds: "For purposes of federal law ... 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." (Via U.S. Department of Justice)

Last Friday a judge overturned Michigan's ban on same-sex marriages — prompting more than 300 same-sex couples to get married the next day. But an appeals court judge issued a temporary stay on the ruling pending an appeal. (Via WXYZ)

The Justice Department's move is part of a larger effort to carry out a Supreme Court decision last June that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and said same-sex marriages must be recognized by the federal government.

But married same-sex couples in Michigan, like those in Utah, are still in limbo. The Detroit Free Press reports a court could reject the the federal government's stance in the future.

Since the stay restored Michigan's marriage ban, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says same-sex couples still cannot obtain marriage benefits — which are currently reserved for heterosexual couples — at the state level. (Via WJBK)

The stay has been extended indefinitely until the appeal of last Friday's ruling is resolved.