Michigan Claims 300 Same-Sex Marriages 'Never Existed'
During one day in March, 300 same-sex couples were legally married in Michigan — but now the state argues their weddings "never existed."
After a district court invalidated the state's marriage ban, couples quickly lined up at county clerks offices all over the state. They got marriage licenses on March 22 before a stay on the ruling was issued by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Then the ACLU sued governor Rick Snyder on behalf of the couples, arguing they should immediately be given all the benefits of legal recognition.
But now that the Sixth Circuit has followed up its stay with a ruling saying marriage bans are constitutional, the state's attorney general wants the lawsuit gone, saying those 300 couples never really got married. Attorney general Bill Schuette essentially says the marriages would only have been valid had the Sixth Circuit agreed with the district court.
"Consequently, from a legal standpoint," the lawyers reportedly wrote in a brief filed Friday, "because the marriages rested solely on the district court's erroneous decision, which has now been reversed, it is as if the marriages never existed, and Plaintiffs' requests for benefits attendant to a legal marriage must be denied."
Meanwhile, the Sixth Circuit's decision is being appealed to the U.S Supreme Court.