John M. Becker

ACLU Sues Michigan for Not Recognizing its Own Marriages

Filed By John M. Becker | April 14, 2014 3:30 PM | comments

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

michigan-marriage-equality.jpgThe American Civil Liberties Union sued the state of Michigan in federal court today on behalf of four same-sex couples who were legally married after a federal judge struck down the state's marriage discrimination amendment, but whose legal marriages the state has maliciously and arbitrarily refused to recognize.

The lawsuit seeks to compel Michigan to recognize all valid and legal marriages in that state, including those of the approximately 300 same-sex couples who married during the brief window when same-sex marriages were legal there.

From the ACLU press release:

"As a matter of law and fundamental fairness, the state is obligated to extend the protections that flow from marriage to all those who celebrated their weddings last month," said Kary L. Moss, ACLU of Michigan executive director. "Doing anything less treats legally married gay and lesbian couples like second-class citizens, and adds to the confusion and instability these loving families have endured."...

A few days later, Governor Rick Snyder announced that, while the marriages were legal, the state would not recognize them for the purposes of providing state benefits that are afforded to married couples. His decision was followed by an announcement by the federal government that it would recognize the marriages for federal purposes...

Because of Governor Snyder's refusal to recognize the marriages of the 300 couples, these families are precluded from enjoying the many benefits of marriage in Michigan, including providing health insurance to spouses, jointly adopting children, and ensuring the financial stability of their families.

Click here to meet the eight plaintiff couples, including my wonderful friends Frank and Jim, who I met last year at the Supreme Court.

A copy of today's complaint is after the jump, via Equality Case Files.

2:14-cv-11499 #1 by Equality Case Files

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