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Michigan Won’t Recognize its own Marriage Licenses


By Matt Baume

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has good news and bad news marriage in Michigan. One Missouri lawmaker is taking a stand for equality. We have more good news from national polling. And five couples in Mississippi requested marriage licenses last week. What happened next will probably not surprise you.

Things are getting complicated in Michigan. In recent weeks, a federal court overturned the state’s marriage ban, then counties issued licenses to 323 couples until the Sixth Circuit stopped them by impsing a stay. Attorney General Bill Schuette is appealing the ruling.

Governor Snyder confirmed last week that “legal marriages took place,” but added that for now “we won’t recognize the benefits of those marriages.” His wording was important, because it suggested that other states and the federal government could recognize them. And sure enough, US Attorney General Eric Holder has stepped in to confirm federal recognition of those marriages.

That still leaves couples with no access to state marriage benefits. It’s likely some will sue to ensure their licenses are recognized by Michigan and across state lines. Meanwhile, the Sixth Circuit has scheduled briefs in the case for May and June, but the plaintiffs have asked for an expedited schedule.

Missouri state Representative Mike Colona is pursuing marriage equality through the legislature. He introduced a bill last week that would repeal the state’s marriage ban.

And a lawsuit may be coming soon in Mississippi. Five couples applied for marriage licenses there last week. Their applications were accepted only to be later denied. And an equality campaign in Colorado is picking up steam, with a slew of new endorsements from state leaders.

And finally this week, a new national survey continues to show a steady climb in national support for the freedom to marry. The new data show 55 percent support to 40 percent opposed. This is the forty second major survey to show support over fifty percent.


  • 1. Richard Weatherwax  |  March 31, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Poll indicate 55 percent support, and only 40 percent opposed. That leaves only 5 percent undecided. That is a low number for undicided. Evidently, the public has taken an interest in the issue, and most of them have made up their minds.

  • 2. Ragavendran  |  April 1, 2014 at 10:10 am

    (1) Homophobia in Michigan:
    (2) Possible Request to Michigan to abandon appeal:

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