US Attorney General Says Will Recognize Michigan Same-Sex Marriages

Mar 28, 2014

The federal government will recognize the marriages of 300 gay and lesbian couples performed last weekend in Michigan before more weddings were blocked by an appeals court.

That means they will be able file joint federal tax returns and share federal government benefits.

The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta tells us the state of Michigan won’t follow suit.

Governor Rick Snyder says the state can’t recognize those marriages while the case is on appeal.

   “This is not something where it’s necessarily discretionary,” he says.

But he says the disconnect between the state and federal positions is a problem.

   “I appreciate it can be difficult on people, though, because it does raise confusion and challenges,” he says.

Jay Kaplan of the American Civil Liberties Union says the state can and should recognize the marriages.

   “The governor’s hands are not tied behind his back,” she says.  “The law at the time these people got married was they’re permitted to marry.”

Kaplan says the ACLU is ready to go to court to get the state to grant those couples all the rights and privileges of being married while the case is on appeal.