New Marriage Lawsuits Filed This Week in Michigan, North Dakota

Two new marriage lawsuits were filed this week, in Michigan and North Dakota, making a total of 74 cases in 32 states around the country.

In MichiganMichigan

The attorney for Bruce Morgan and Brian Merucci filed the suit Wednesday in Federal court.

The couple had been married in New York and since their marriage is recognized on the federal level, they contend it should be recognized in Michigan as well.

Morgan and Merucci have been a committed relationship for seven years. In 2011, Morgan was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. He released a statement through his attorney Stephanie Myott from the law firm Rhoades McKee: "If I am in the hospital, I want to know that Brian can be there at my bedside as my spouse and that the hospital will recognize the decisions he makes regarding my care."

Myott contends when federal Judge Friedman struck down Michigan's ban on gay marriage in March, Morgan and Merucci's marriage became valid.

 Here's the full press release on the Michigan case.

And North Dakota got its second lawsuit, from Lambda Legal:

The 33-page complaint filed by Janet Jorgensen and Cynthia Phillips, who were legally married in Minnesota, says the couple is treated as "legal strangers" in their home state. It says North Dakota's law violates the equal protection and due process clause in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.


  1. JackFknTwist says

    The issue of the recognition of ‘foreign’ marriages was always the iceberg on which opposition to same sex marriage would founder.

    I have written the same boring point for years; if a US citizen validly marries a Dutch guy in Holland and that marriage is recognized in many other countries, then why not in the country of his birth ?

    Under “Private International Law” ( yes it is a separate law subject ) there must be a comity of legal principles.
    If a foreign straight marriage is recognised as valid in the place of performance, say Holland, then it must be recognized in the country of the parties domicile….and so it is with SSM…’s the place of performance which governs the validity, assuming both parties have capacity ( he’s from Mass.)

    Never mind the parochial tussle among the States, it’s the international implications which will entangle the courts….IMO.

  2. JackFknTwist says

    At least that’s where the constitutional implication of states refusing recognition will be decisive.