ACLU of Michigan files lawsuit seeking respect for 300+ Michigan marriage licenses

Today, April 14, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed a lawsuit in state court on behalf of eight same-sex couples who received marriage licenses on the first day of the freedom to marry in Michigan, March 22.

More than 300 couples received marriage licenses on that Saturday, after a federal judge struck down the state's ban on marriage for same-sex couples. The ruling was stayed later that afternoon - temporarily put on hold as the state appeals the decision. Although the federal government said that it would respect the Michigan marriage licenses for all purposes, Governor Rick Snyder said that the state of Michigan would, for now, deny respect to the licenses as the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals considers arguments in the original federal lawsuit.

The lawsuit argues that because these same-sex couples legally married in Michigan, they are entitled to all of the protections of marriage, and that these protections cannot be taken away retroactively. The ACLU explained that the suit also explains that the United States Constitution requires state officials to recognize those protections immediately, regardless of the ultimate outcome of the appeal of Judge Friedman’s ruling.

ACLU of Michigan Executive Director Kary L. Moss explained today:

"As a matter of law and fundamental fairness, the state is obligated to extend the protections that flow from marriage to all those who celebrated their weddings last month. Doing anything less treats legally married gay and lesbian couples like second-class citizens, and adds to the confusion and instability these loving families have endured."

The plaintiff couples include eight families, including several couples who have been together in Michigan for more than 25 years.  One of the plaintiff couples is Kelly Callison and Anne Callison, who are raising their son Corbin and need to be respected as a married couple in order to ensure that they can protect their son. Meet all of the the Plaintiffs HERE.

Follow all of the Marriage Litigation in Michigan HERE