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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder Argues Sixth Circuit Ruling Invalidates Gay Marriages Performed in March

In a new brief filed in reaction to the Sixth Circuit's anti-equality ruling last week upholding Michigan's gay marriage ban, governor Rick Snyder is arguing the 300 marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples back in March are now null and void. 

The Associated Press reports:

SnyderThe 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati issued a stay on marriages March 22, but not until after 300 couples had completed the steps to be married.

Afterward, Gov. Rick Snyder said the affected couples don't have the state benefits of marriage. On Nov. 6, the court in Cincinnati upheld Michigan's ban, and those in Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

"Consequently, from a legal standpoint, 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," lawyers for the state wrote in the six-page brief.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs in Michigan's gay marriage case are expected to file briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday. The Ohio and Tennessee marriage cases have already been appealed to the high court. 

Read Snyder's brief below via Equality Case Files:


Michigan Governor Rick Snyder Vows to Continue Defending State's Gay Marriage Ban

Following yesterday's Sixth Circuit ruling upholding Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage, Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette announced their plans to continue to defend the ban in court.

SnyderMLive reports:

“When I became governor, I took an oath to support and defend our state constitution, without exceptions,” Snyder said in a statement, referencing the 2004 voter-approved amendment that defined marriage as between one woman and one man.

“My obligation to carry out that oath is not a matter of personal preference. As I have said throughout this process, I will respect the court’s decision as it examines the legality of same-sex marriage.”

The ACLU has pledged to appeal the Sixth Circuit's decision directly to the Supreme Court. 


Michigan Governor Rick Snyder: Legislature Should Take Up LGBT Protections

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said on Thursday that he would like the legislature to update Michigan's civil rights law to prohibit discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity, the AP reports:

Snyder"I don't believe in discrimination," the Republican governor told reporters at the Mackinac Policy Conference, the Detroit Regional Chamber's annual meeting for more than 1,500 business, political and civil leaders. "It's a healthy thing for the Legislature to look to take it up as an issue sometime this year."

He stopped short of specifically backing an update of the 1976 Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, but his request that the GOP-led Legislature debate legislation late this summer or in the fall was seen as a positive signal by advocates. Snyder's comments — his strongest to date — came the same day that Chrysler, other companies, the Detroit Regional Chamber and the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce joined the Michigan Competitive Workforce Coalition, a group created this month to lobby to amend the law.

Snyder had said he was open to adding gays and lesbians to the state's protections back in December.

Snyder speaks another language when it comes to marriage, however.

In February he asked a judge to rule in favor of the state in a lawsuit filed by five same-sex couples demanding domestic partner benefits. And after Michigan's gay marriage ban was struck down in March, Snyder said the government would not recognize the marriages.

He has been an expert dodger when it comes to expressing his personal views on both topics.


Michigan Governor Says State Won't Recognize Gay Marriages Performed Over Weekend: VIDEO

Snyder

Michigan will not recognize the hundreds of gay marriages performed over the weekend even though it sees them as "legal and valid", Governor Rick Snyder told reporters on Wednesday, the Detroit Free Press reports:

"With respect to the marriages, we believe those are legal and valid marriages...The stay being issued makes it more complicated. Because of the stay, we won’t recognize the benefits of the marriage until there’s a removal of the stay... Hopefully we’ll be able to provide some clarity, at least from our perspective, relatively soon."

The ACLU said yesterday that it would sue if the state decided not to offer benefits to the gay couples married in Michigan over the weekend.

The Governor issued this statement:

“After comprehensive legal review of state law and all recent court rulings, we have concluded that same-sex couples were legally married at county clerk offices in the time period between U.S. District Judge Freidman’s ruling and the 6th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals temporary stay of that ruling.

“In accordance with the law, the U.S. Circuit Court’s stay has the effect of suspending the benefits of marriage until further court rulings are issued on this matter. The couples with certificates of marriage from Michigan courthouses last Saturday were legally married and the marriage was valid when entered into. Because the stay brings Michigan law on this issue back into effect, the rights tied to these marriages are suspended until the stay is lifted or Judge Friedman’s decision is upheld on appeal.”

In another conversation with reporters, Snyder was asked his personal views about marriage, and refused to say what they were.

"I'm not going to go back and rehash a sentence in one debate from four years ago. I've been focused on jobs, it's my main message, and I'm staying consistent with that."

Attorney General Bill Schuette refused to give his personal opinion either.

Watch two clips of the governor and attorney general with reporters, AFTER THE JUMP...

Schuette

Continue reading "Michigan Governor Says State Won't Recognize Gay Marriages Performed Over Weekend: VIDEO" »


Governor: Michigan to Hold Off on Recognizing Gay Marriages Performed Over Weekend

Approximately 300 gay couples married in Michigan on Saturday, one day after a federal judge struck down the state's ban on gay marriage. On Sunday, the Sixth Court Circuit of Appeals issued a temporary stay on the marriage ruling until Wednesday when an emergency appeal could be heard.

SnyderMichigan Governor Rick Snyder said late on Sunday that state agencies would wait to recognize the marriages that have been performed, the AP reports:

“We are extremely sensitive to feelings on this issue and are hoping for a swift resolution for all involved,” said Sara Wurfel, spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Snyder...

...“We are not saying that we aren’t or won’t recognize the marriages that happened on Saturday, but that we’re awaiting further court or legal direction on this complex, unusual situation,” Wurfel told The Associated Press in an email Sunday.

“Either way, this can’t be construed one way or another as not recognizing the validity of the same sex marriages.”

You may have missed this MICHIGAN info...
Michigan's Marriage Equality Ruling: A Summary and Analysis [tlrd]
Federal Appeals Court Suspends Gay Marriages in Michigan Until at Least Wednesday [tlrd]
Here is Joyful Video of the First Gay Marriages in Michigan: WATCH [tlrd]
First Gay Couple Marries in Ingham County, Michigan: PHOTO [tlrd]
At Least Four Michigan Counties to Issue Marriage Licenses to Gay Couples Today [tlrd]
Federal Judge Strikes Down Michigan's Ban on Gay Marriage: VIDEO [tlrd)


Michigan Governor Rick Snyder Asks Federal Judge to Uphold Ban on Benefits for Gay Couples

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder wants Michigan's ban on domestic partner benefits for gay couples who work for state and local governments and asked a federal judge to uphold the ban in a motion filed on Friday, MLive reports:

SnyderThe motion asks Judge David Lawson to rule in favor of the state in a lawsuit filed by five same-sex couples. The motion argues that the 2011 law banning the benefits "eliminates local government programs that are irrational and unfair" and promotes "financially sound" local agencies.

It will save the government money, in other words, to discriminate against gays.

MLive adds that Lawson has already ruled against the fiscal responsibility argument in a preliminary injunction issued in June 2013:

"The only policy issue that the defendant has identified is the desire to save money. But a desire to save money cannot possibly be sufficiently important to require the court to abstain from deciding the constitutional issues raised by the plaintiffs. If it were, states could effectively insulate themselves from constitutional review by the federal courts of virtually any law by citing budgetary concerns," Lawson wrote.

The state's motion also cites a Michigan Court of Appeals case that called "absurd" and "ridiculous" a Michigan Civil Service Commission policy that would allow for state employees to share benefits with one other unrelated adult living in the same house.

"Eliminating policies that disfavor familial relationships and are 'absurd', 'unfair,' even 'ridiculous' is rational and related to legitimate state interests in promoting fair and reasonable local government policies," the state argued.

Previously...
Federal Judge Halts Michigan's Ban on Domestic Partner Benefits, Cites DOMA Ruling [tlrd]


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