US Attorney General confirms federal recognition of Michigan same-sex marriages

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The US Attorney General has confirmed that in the eyes of the federal Government, the marriages of 300 gay and lesbian couples in Michigan will be recognised.

The reinstatement and extension of a temporary suspension of a ruling to strike-down Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban have left more than three hundred 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 Attorney general Eric Holder has announced the 300+ marriages will be recognised by the federal Government.

In a statement on Friday morning, he said: “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,” Holder continued.

“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.”

Yesterday six Democratic politicians in the state of Michigan wrote to Holder asking him to recognise the marriages.