US: Human rights group seeks recognition of gay marriages in Michigan

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in the state of Michigan has filed asking a judge to recognise marriages performed before an injunction was issued.

Not long after a judge declared Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional in March, an appeals court issued a stay against the ruling.

Ruling since, US District Judge Bernard Friedman suggested that upholding a ban on same-sex marriage would be unfair to the children of gay couples, and said it was unconstitutional.

However, clerks in Michigan were then told to cease issuing marriage licenses to hundreds of same-sex couples after a motion of stay once more temporarily reinstated the ban.

The state has until 5 June to respond to a lawsuit filed in April seeking the same thing. 

But in responding to the ACLU’s request, federal judge Mark Goldsmith could rule before the slow-moving case is finished.

Governor Rick Snyder, has said the some 300 marriages were “legal and valid”, but that the state would not recognise them.

The US Attorney general Eric Holder has, however, announced the marriages will be recognised by the federal Government.

The state argues that a 2004 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage defines marriage as between one man and one woman.