Attorney General Extends Federal Recognition To Michigan Same-Sex Marriages

CREDIT: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

Attorney General Eric Holder announced Friday that the 322 same-sex marriages that took place on Saturday in Michigan will be recognized by the federal government. A federal judge had ruled that Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional but had not stayed his ruling, so the marriages took place during the window when the amendment was unenforceable.

According to Holder, “These families will be eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages.” The decision mirrors January’s announcement that the federal government would also recognize the many same-sex marriages that took place in Utah after a federal judge’s similar ruling there.

On Wednesday, Gov. Rick Snyder (R) announced that Michigan would not recognize the marriages during the stay. At least one couple filed their state taxes jointly before the window closed, so it remains unclear how the state will handle that claim.