U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has extended federal recognition to the Michigan marriages of about 300 same-sex couples that took place before a federal appeals court put those unions on hold.
Holder's action on Friday enables the government to extend eligibility for federal benefits to the couples. It came two days after Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said Michigan won't recognize the marriages performed last weekend.
U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman struck down the gay marriage ban the day before. Snyder's move closed the door to certain state benefits reserved solely for married couples.
Congressman Dan Kildee issued the following statement after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder made the announcement.
"I applaud U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for recognizing the recent same-sex marriages performed in Michigan. Just yesterday, I, along with other Democratic members of Michigan's congressional delegation, asked the federal government to recognize these recently performed marriages. Today's recognition of these marriages by the federal government is welcome news. These legally married and loving couples shouldn't have to wait any longer for the recognition and benefits they are entitled to under the U.S. Constitution.
"It's my hope that Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette will also drop their appeals in this matter and recognize the inherent rights of these Michiganders to love and marry one another."
Four counties granted licenses before the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a temporary halt. The stay was extended indefinitely on Tuesday.
Copyright 2014 Associated Press/WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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