Gov. Rick Snyder announced that 323 same-sex marriages that were performed last weekend will no longer be recognized by the state of Michigan.
This announcement came after a stay was put on the judicial decision that ruled Michigan’s ban on same sex marriages as unconstitutional.
“Because of the stay, we won’t recognize the benefits of the marriage until there’s a removal of the stay,” Snyder said.
Snyder said the marriages were legal at the time they were performed Saturday, but the stay means the ban is now back in effect.
“With respect to the marriages, we believe those are legal and valid marriages,” Snyder said. “The stay being issued makes it more complicated.
Attorney General Bill Schuette appealed the ruling to the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, stopping the same-sex marriages with a temporary stay.
The temporary stay could possibly go into next year when the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to deal with the issue.
Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum performed the first same-sex marriage ceremonies in Michigan last Saturday morning.
Byrum has strong feelings towards Attorney General Schuette’s appeal.
“He is fighting a losing battle and knows it,” Byrum said. “He is catering to the extreme wing of his party and playing politics with the lives of Michigan people. He should end this frivolous lawsuit and stop making Michigan look so intolerant.”
Byrum is also disappointed in the way Gov. Snyder is handling the issue.
“Governor Snyder is not showing any leadership,” Byrum said. “He is bowing to the Attorney General and needs to either lead Michigan in the right direction or get out of the way.”
Although the state of Michigan will not extend state rights and benefits tied to the marriages pending further legal proceedings, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has intervened with the state in favor of same-sex couples, according to The Washington Post.
“I have determined that the same-sex marriages performed last Saturday in Michigan will be recognized by the federal government,” Holder said. “These families will be eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages.”
Byrum was happy to hear that the couples she brought together will get some sort of marital recognition.
“This is a step towards equality,” Byrum said. “Michigan will be an equality state.”