John M. Becker

Michigan GOP Gov: State Will Ignore Legal Same-Sex Marriages

Filed By John M. Becker | March 24, 2014 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Bernard Friedman, gay marriage, marriage discrimination, marriage equality, Rick Snyder, same-sex marriage

lesbian-wedding-cake.jpgOn Friday, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman struck down Michigan's marriage discrimination amendment as unconstitutional. He did not stay his ruling, meaning that same-gender couples in Michigan could get married immediately. Four Michigan counties decided to open their doors on Saturday to issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples.

At the end of that day, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay on Judge Friedman's ruling, halting further marriages until at least Wednesday, March 26. But between the time of the initial ruling and the time of the stay order, a total of 315 valid and legal marriage licenses were issued to same-gender couples in Michigan.

But now, ripping a page out of the Utah playbook, Michigan Republican Governor Rick Snyder has apparently decided to pretend, at least for now, that all those legal marriages don't exist.

The AP reports:

Michigan state agencies won't immediately recognize hundreds of same-sex marriages that were performed in the hours before an appeals court put on hold a judge's ruling that tossed out a state ban on gay marriage, the governor's office said Sunday...

[S]tate agencies face the challenge of whether to recognize same-sex marriages performed Saturday.

"The governor and administration are not weighing in on these issues at this point," Snyder spokeswoman Sarah Wurfel told The Associated Press in an email Sunday afternoon.

Asked if that would prevent, for example, a newlywed gay couple from applying for adoption of children on Monday, Wurfel said that Snyder's office considers everything to be on hold for now.

"The order is stayed (at least until Wednesday)," Wurfel wrote in the email, and so the "issue is moot at this point until resolved."

That's right: the Republican governor of Michigan is willing to actively harm the children of same-sex couples in his bigoted and animus-fueled crusade against the inevitable arrival of marriage equality. And of course, Snyder's decision also blocks same-gender couples from the plethora of state-level rights and benefits that married couples are entitled to under Michigan law.

head-up-ass-2.jpgThis is reprehensible, folks, and it's also flat-out illegal. The same-sex marriages that took place in Michigan on Saturday are real, legal marriages that were performed after the issuance of a real, legal marriage license. Governor Snyder doesn't just get to arbitrarily decide not to recognize them because he doesn't like them, nor does he get to nullify them because there's been a temporary halt on further same-sex marriages.

For all the Republicans' hysterical whining about so-called "activist judges," they sure love giving free passes to activist governors.

Who does Rick Snyder think he is, a dictator? Here's hoping Equality Michigan, Lambda Legal, or the ACLU hauls his ass back into court and forces the state to recognize all valid and legal marriages in Michigan, including the marriages of those 315 same-sex couples.

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