LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Gov. Rick Snyder says Michigan will recognize more than 300 same-sex marriages performed during a brief window when they were allowed last year.
The Republican governor announced Wednesday that he won’t appeal a ruling that the state must recognize the marriages. U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith had said the marriages are valid but put on hold his decision for 21 days pending any appeal.
Michigan’s recognition of the marriages could affect couples’ health insurance coverage and their ability to jointly adopt.
A different federal judge struck down Michigan’s gay marriage ban last March. Same-sex couples in four counties married the next day, before an appeals court suspended the decision and blocked additional marriages.
The U.S. Supreme Court has since decided to consider the legality of Michigan’s 2004 voter-approved ban.
State Representative Sam Singh (d, East Lansing) applauded Governor Snyder for his decision. “During the last legislative session, I, along with a number of my colleagues, introduced a resolution calling on Gov. Snyder to recognize the 300 same-sex marriages performed on March 22, 2014,” said State Representative Sam Singh (d). I am pleased to see the governor has decided not to appeal a federal court ruling requiring Michigan to recognize the marriages performed last year. These legally performed marriages deserve full recognition from the state of Michigan. These 300 couples will finally receive the respect and dignity they deserve. I remain hopeful that the U.S. Supreme Court will make a ruling later this year that will expand marriage equality to all 50 states and allow every loving couple in Michigan to marry.”
Michigan Senator Jim Ananich (d, Flint) also agrees and made a statement: “These 300 Michigan families have the same rights as any other in our state, and it’s encouraging to see the Governor agrees,” said Senator Ananich (d). “This is an important first step toward equality, but we can’t stop here. It’s time to bring Michigan into the 21st century and join the dozens of other states that have made marriage equality the law of the land. It is my hope that this is the beginning of a partnership between the governor and Democrats, and that together we can lead the charge for equality for all Michiganders.”