ACLU Files Lawsuit in Michigan to Recognize 300 Legally Married Same-Sex Couples

Picture via Passport

Picture via Passport

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan has filed a lawsuit today so that the legal marriages of 300 tqy and lesbian couples performed in Michigan last month are recognized by the state. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of eight same-sex couples who were married after a federal judge struck down the state’s ban and before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals put the decision on hold. “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.”

The lawsuit argues that once same-sex couples are legally married in Michigan, they gain protections that cannot be taken away retroactively. Furthermore, the U.S. Constitution compels state officials to recognize those protections regardless of the ultimate outcome of the appeal of Judge Friedman’s ruling.

We have the full backstory after the jump in case you forgot….

On Friday, March 21, Judge Bernard Friedman struck down Michigan’s ban on the freedom to marry as violating federal law. The next day, approximately 300 same-sex couples celebrated this historic ruling by getting married after four county clerks opened their offices to issue marriage licenses.

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.

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