Governor Rick Snyder says more than 300 same-sex marriages that took place over the weekend in Michigan are legal. But he says those couples won’t be formally recognized or offered the benefits of being married until after the appeals are resolved.
“As governor of the state of Michigan and chief executive of the executive branch, my duty is to uphold the laws of the state of Michigan and the United States, and so I believe this is the proper course of action and look forward to further clarity through the judicial process,” he says.
Four county clerks opened their doors Saturday to gay and lesbian couples who wanted to get married after the state’s same-sex marriage ban was struck down. Late Saturday, the U.S. Sixth Circuit of Appeals suspended the decision while the case is litigated.
Some officials have asked for federal recognition of the marriages that took place.
The American Civil Liberties Union says it may go to court to get the state to recognize those marriages. The group says if they are legal marriages, the state should recognize them.
“Those marriages are valid,” says Jay Kaplan. “They were married – at that time on Saturday, the law in Michigan was that to deny same-sex couples the right to marry was unconstitutional. They received their marriage licenses legally. Their marriages were solemnized. Their marriages have to be recognized.”