ACLU Sues State Over Same-Sex Marriages

Apr 14, 2014

The American Civil Liberties Union is asking a judge to force the state of Michigan to recognize more than 300 same-sex marriages performed in March.

Credit aclumich.org

The ACLU filed a lawsuit Monday on behalf of couples who say their constitutional rights are being violated by Gov. Rick Snyder. He won't recognize the marriages for the purpose of benefits until federal courts decide the status of Michigan's ban on gay marriage. 

Jay Kaplan is staff attorney for the ACLU of Michigan's LGBT Project.  Kaplan says the Governor is talking out of both sides of his mouth.

"These marriages were entered into before a stay was issued. They're legal," Kaplan says. "He stated yes, they were legal, but that the state would not recognize these marriages, nor provide them with state benefits associated with marriage, while an appeal is pending."

More than 300 couples were married in the hours after a judge struck down the ban on March 21. But the decision was suspended by a federal appeals court the next day while it takes an appeal from the state. 

The federal government is recognizing the same-sex marriages.