Michigan human rights group considers legal action over 300 gay married couples in legal limbo

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A leading human rights group has said it is considering taking legal action on behalf of 300+ gay and lesbian married couples now in legal limbo in the state.

The reinstatement and extension of a temporary suspension of a ruling to strike-down Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban have left the couples, who all married on Saturday, not knowing where they stand legally.

Yesterday the state’s Governor Rick Snyder, said the marriages were “legal and valid”, but that the state would not recognise them.

Now the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in the state of Michigan, slammed the Governor for his position, and the organisation is talking to couples who married on Saturday to explore the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the state.

Michigan LGBT project attorney Jay Kaplan said the couples were still being treated as “second class citizens”.

“It’s very disconcerting that in one breath, he’s saying these marriages are legal, and yet he’s saying the state will deny any benefits, protections or recognitions associated with the marriage. How can you talk out of both sides of your mouth?

“These people have legal marriages, and under the laws of our state, as well as the constitution, you have to treat them equally.”

Shortly after a judge ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, hundreds of couples married.

After that, an appeals court issued a stay, which meant that counties were temporarily banned from issuing marriage licences to same-sex couples. The stay was temporarily extended yesterday, in order to allow the Supreme Court to rule following an appeal by the state.