DETROIT (AP) – A federal judge has ruled that Michigan must recognize hundreds of same-sex marriages performed during a brief window last year.
U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith ruled Thursday that the unions are valid. Goldsmith stayed the decision for 21 days pending any appeal by the state.
A different federal judge struck down the state’s gay marriage ban on March 21. More than 300 same-sex couples in four counties got married the next day, before an appeals court suspended the decision and blocked additional marriages.
Michigan has refused to recognize those marriages.
Emily Dievendorf, executive director of Equality Michigan, responded to today’s ruling by saying, in part, “Equality Michigan is thrilled for the over 300 couples who today saw our courts finally do what our state leaders refuse to do – recognize that their love and relationships deserve equal recognition under the law. While the state will likely appeal, and the battle is not yet over, this is an instrumental step in our path toward securing the freedom to marry for all families in Michigan.”
Attorney General Bill Schuette said in a statement that his office is reviewing the ruling.
We’ll have more on this developing story online and on 6 News at 5 & 6