Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s office stated on Sunday that state agencies won’t immediately recognize the huge number of same-sex marriages that were performed Saturday just before a federal appeals court delayed overturning the state’s 2004 constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Sara Wurfel, Snyder’s spokeswoman, said:
We are extremely sensitive to feelings on this issue and are hoping for a swift resolution for all involved. 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. Either way, this can’t be construed one way or another as not recognizing the validity of the same sex marriages.
Roughly 300 same-sex couples celebrated their nuptials in four Michigan counties. Because the appeals court ruled to delay overturning the ban, Michigan’s county clerks cannot give same-sex marriage licenses until the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reviews the case.
The sequence of events started with U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman’s ruling on Friday that the 2004 amendment to the Michigan Constitution that limited marriage to heterosexual couples was in opposition to the Constitution’s right of equal protection. On Saturday, the 300 couples dashed to the county clerks to get married. Later on Saturday, the 6th Circuit, considering Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s request, froze the decision.