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

Justin Bieber and Orlando Bloom nearly come to blows

Fresh
bloom

The actor and the troubled pop star reportedly got into an altercation early Wednesday at a party in Ibiza, Spain.

in Entertainment

Paramount apologizes for ‘Ninja Turtle’ 9/11 tweet

Fresh
turtles

The film studio apologized for a poster showing the four "TMNT" characters jumping down from an exploding skyscraper with a Sept. 11 release date.

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: July 30

elvis

The Hollywood headlines that made history.

in Music

James Brown biopic revels in drama and dance moves

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Chadwick Boseman, right, and Dan Aykroyd in a scene from "Get On Up."

Chadwick Boseman nails Brown's singular mannerisms and raspy voice in the new biopic "Get On Up."

in Music

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett celebrate collaboration with concert

Recording artists Lady Gaga, left, and Tony Bennett, attend a Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga concert taping on Monday, July 28, 2014, in New York.

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett performed tracks from their jazz collaboration Cheek to Cheek ahead of its long-awaited release.