Administration to recognize Michigan gay marriages despite state’s decision not to

Attorney General Eric Holder Friday announced that the federal government will recognize some 300 marriages performed in Michigan before a federal court halted them, despite the will of the governor.

“I have determined that the same-sex marriages performed last Saturday in Michigan will be recognized by the federal government,” Holder said in a statement Friday. “These families will be eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages.”

Last week U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman struck down the state’s same sex marriage ban, about several hundred same-sex couples wed the weekend before the U.S. Court of Appeals placed a stay on the marriages pending appeal.

While Republican Gov. Rick Snyder said the marriages were legal, he said that the state would not be recognizing the marriages.

“The Governor of Michigan has made clear that the marriages that took place on Saturday were lawful and valid when entered into, although Michigan will not extend state rights and benefits tied to these marriages pending further legal proceedings,” Holder said.

In January, Holder similarly announced that the federal government would recognize same-sex marriages performed in Utah during a short period they were legal in the state.

“For purposes of federal law, as I announced in January with respect to similarly situated same-sex couples in Utah, these Michigan couples will not be asked to wait for further resolution in the courts before they may seek federal benefits to which they are entitled,” he said.

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