News

Federal government to recognize same-sex marriage in Michigan

Federal government to recognize same-sex marriage in Michigan

MARRIAGE:Same sex couples are married in a group by the Oakland County Clerk in Pontiac, Mich., Saturday, March 22. A federal judge has struck down Michigan's ban on gay marriage Friday the latest in a series of decisions overturning similar laws across the U.S. Some counties plan to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples Saturday, less than 24 hours after a judge overturned Michigan's ban on gay marriage. Photo: Associated Press//Paul Sancya

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The government said on Friday it would recognize same-sex marriages carried out last week in Michigan but left in limbo by a court appeal, making the couples entitled to appropriate federal benefits.

More than 300 couples were married last Saturday, a day after U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman lifted Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban, saying it violated the U.S. Constitution.

The state appealed the ruling later on Saturday and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said the newly-weds would not receive state benefits of marriage until the matter is settled in court.

Same-sex marriage is now recognized in 17 out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement in Washington on Friday that the marriages performed on Saturday would be recognized by the federal government.

“These families will be eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages,” he said.

While their recognition by their state is in question, the couples will have access to federal benefits including joint tax filings, social security benefits, and legal immigration status for foreign partners.

The Human Rights Campaign, a civil rights organization that advocates for the gay community, welcomed Holder’s decision.

It said in a statement he had “demonstrated his steadfast commitment to equality and upholding the core values of the U.S. Constitution by affirming federal recognition of these marriages.”

The Justice Department has taken similar positions to uphold federal recognition of same-sex marriage, established by the Supreme Court last summer in the landmark United States v. Windsor case.

In January, Holder announced the federal government would recognize same-sex marriages in Utah, which were also under dispute.

(Writing by Doina Chiacu and Julia Edwards; Editing by David Storey and Sofina Mirza-Reid)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling are parents

evamendes

The pair reportedly welcomed a baby girl last week.

in Viral Videos

Barbra Streisand on late-night TV for first time in 50 years

19-overlay1

And part of her appearance included singing duets with Jimmy Fallon.

in Music

Darius Rucker to release holiday album

dariusrucker

"Home for the Holidays," which will be released in October, will feature classics and original music.

in Entertainment

‘National Lampoon’s Vacation’ reboot in the works

helms

The 1983 classic is getting a new look for a new generation, picking up the story with the now-grown children of Clark and Ellen Griswold.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Sesame Street’s ‘Star S’mores’ trailer

23-overlay2

Sesame Street has its own take on "Star Wars" and it's adorable, funny, creative ... and makes us want to be a kid again.