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Michigan: More than 300 gay marriages ‘legal but not recognized’

State’s governor says rights linked to marriages on hold pending resolution

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says the more than 300 gay marriages performed before a stay of a federal judge’s ruling are legal, but the unions won’t be recognized by the state. Credit: wikimedia.org

Michigan’s governor says the more than 300 gay marriages performed before a stay of a federal judge’s ruling are legal, but the unions won’t be recognized by the state, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

That means that the rights that accrue to married couples are on hold until an appeals court stay of the ruling that struck down the state’s gay-marriage ban is lifted or the ruling issued by federal judge Bernard Friedman is upheld on appeal, Governor Rick Snyder told media.

A lawyer for the lesbian couple, April De Boer and Jayne Rowse, who challenged the state’s ban is quoted as saying that it doesn’t matter whether gay marriage has the support of a few or many; what is relevant is that gay-marriage bans are unconstitutional. Unless the US Supreme Court addresses the issue definitively, the unfolding of gay-marriage rights will proceed in a “patchwork” manner, Dana Nessel contends.

A Wake Forest University political science professor lays part of the blame for the current situation on the Supreme Court, noting that in its June 2013 rulings on California’s Proposition 8 and DOMA, it didn’t squarely address the issue of whether states’ gay-marriage bans violated equal protection rights under the US Constitution.