Jonathan Higbee's picture

Federal Government Will Recognize Michigan Same-Sex Marriages

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that the federal government will recognize the marriages of gay couples who tied the knot in the brief window of availability in Michigan last weekend. 

I have determined that the same-sex marriages performed last Saturday in Michigan will be recognized by the federal government. These families will be eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages. The Governor of Michigan has made clear that the marriages that took place on Saturday were lawful and valid when entered into, although Michigan will not extend state rights and benefits tied to these marriages pending further legal proceedings. For purposes of federal law, as I announced in January with respect to similarly situated same-sex couples in Utah, these Michigan couples will not be asked to wait for further resolution in the courts before they may seek federal benefits to which they are entitled.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has put an indefinite stay on the landmark ruling striking down Michigan's ban on marriage equality. At least Holder's decision provides some of the MI's couples some solace.