Feds recognizing Michiganâ??s same sex marriages gives couples new hope
Fri, 28 Mar 2014 22:58:42 GMT —
Two days after Governor Rick Snyder announced Michigan would not recognize same sex marriages there is a partial victory for those couples who recently tied the knot.
Friday U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the federal government will recognize the more than 300 same-sex marriages from last weekend at the federal level. Holder says the marriages are legal and binding, and the couples are entitled to receive federal benefits.
This move allows same-sex couples to be treated like any other married couple, at the federal level.
"Just being recognized publicly is important to us,â?? said Annette Loubert.
During the 24-hour window, when gay marriage was legal in Michigan, Annette Loubert married her partner of 15 years.
"We waited a long time so we are going in the right direction, but it's kind of hurtful that Michigan is still making us wait, we will wait,â?? said Loubert.
Earlier this week, Governor Snyder closed the door to state benefits, while the courts ultimately decide the issue. The move came after an appeals court judge put on hold a federal judge's ruling that Michiganâ??s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage violated the U.S. Constitution.
Friday this statement was issued by Governor Snyder spokesperson Dave Murray:
â??U.S. Attorney General Holderâ??s move was not unexpected after his actions regarding the situation in Utah. The issue in Michigan is that the couples were legally married on Saturday prior to the court issuing the stay. One that stay was issued, there was no other option than to suspend the benefits in accordance with Michiganâ??s law.
We recognize there are some questions about the interrelationship between the state and federal laws. The governor said he appreciates the situation is difficult for people because it creates confusion and challenges.â??
"It's really going to be confusing and it's a very strange situation when you have the state and federal government disagreeing, said Paul Rozycki, Political Science Professor, Mott Community College.
Loubert says being eligible for federal benefits means saving on taxes.
"Our accountant said, last year it would be almost $3,000 a year for us,â?? said Loubert.
Rozycki says there are other federal benefits like being eligible for certain immigration statuses, or, in some cases, adoption. But as people begin to seek these things he says it won't always be clear in the law.
"Where state and federal law come in conflict, and that may happen a lot, I can see a lot these things ending up in court down the road,â?? said Rozycki.
Immediately after the federal judge lifted the gay marriage ban last week Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed an appeal.
While the appeal process plays out the appeals court has ruled no more same-sex marriages can legally take place in Michigan.