John M. Becker

Judge Orders Michigan to Recognize 300 Legal Marriages

Filed By John M. Becker | January 15, 2015 11:15 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: gay marriage, marriage equality, marriage recognition, Michigan, same-sex marriage

michigan.gifToday, one day before the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide whether or not to take up a marriage equality case this term, a federal judge has handed down another victory for the freedom to marry.

U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith ruled that the state of Michigan must recognize the approximately 300 legal same-sex marriages that were performed in the state in March, rejecting Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette's claims that the marriages are "void" and "never existed."

Goldsmith wrote:

The alleged harm of impaired human dignity and denial of at least some tangible benefits have already come about, thereby establishing that the factual record is sufficiently developed, such that there is no need to await future events for adjudication of the issues in this action. And delaying judicial resolution of these issues would serve no useful purpose. To the contrary, such delay would compound the harms these Plaintiffs suffer each day that their marital status remains unrecognized.

Even though the court decision that required Michigan to allow same-sex couples to marry has now been reversed on appeal, the same-sex couples who married in Michigan during the brief period when such marriages were authorized acquired a status that state officials may not ignore absent some compelling interest -- a constitutional hurdle that the defense does not even attempt to surmount. In these circumstances, what the state has joined together, it may not put asunder. (Transcript by Freedom to Marry.)

The ruling is stayed for 21 days. Read the opinion and order after the break, via Equality Case Files.

4:14-cv-11499 #46 by Equality Case Files

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