Judge: Michigan must recognize 300-plus gay marriages

SHARE Judge: Michigan must recognize 300-plus gay marriages

DETROIT — A federal judge ruled Thursday that Michigan must recognize hundreds of same-sex marriages performed during a brief window last year.

U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith wrote that the unions are valid, but stayed the decision for 21 days pending any appeal by the state.

A different federal judge struck down the state’s gay marriage ban on March 21. More than 300 same-sex couples in four counties got married the next day, before an appeals court suspended the decision and blocked additional marriages.

Michigan has refused to recognize those marriages, which affects health insurance and the ability of same-sex couples to jointly adopt children. Goldsmith said those who married “acquired a status that state officials may not ignore absent some compelling interest.”

“In these circumstances, what the state has joined together, it may not put asunder,” Goldsmith wrote.

State Attorney General Bill Schuette said in a statement that his office is reviewing the ruling, and added that “the sooner the United States Supreme Court makes a decision on this issue the better it will be for Michigan and America.”

The U.S. Supreme Court could decide Friday whether it will put Michigan’s same-sex marriage case on its calendar in time to be argued and decided by late June. Until now, the court has managed both to avoid settling the issue for the nation as a whole. In the meantime, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of states that allow same-sex couples to marry. Last week, Florida became the 36th state to issue licenses for same-sex unions.

The Michigan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed a lawsuit on behalf of eight couples, said the ruling is “a victory for marriage equality.”

JEFF KAROUB, Associated Press

The Latest
Anthony Demirov is just a sophomore, but he has the scoring ability to carry his team for a crucial quarter and the confidence and resolve to knock down free throws with the game on the line.
Critics tell us that payouts now in the hundreds of millions are a sign that the city and police department are not serious enough about reform. If they were, Chicagoans would see real accountability, better policies and better outcomes.
According to coach Billy Donovan, Ball still is dealing with pain in his surgically repaired left knee. There have been no setbacks, but the concern continues.
President Biden hosts his first state dinner on Thursday, for President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte. The Sun-Times has the delicious details.
The Packers quarterback expects to hear it from Bears fans again Sunday at Soldier Field. “I’ve been hearing it from fans for 15 years down there. So I don’t expect anything to be different,” Rodgers said. “I have a lot of respect for the city of Chicago and the sports fans.”