Federal Court To Hear Arguments In Michigan Marriage Recognition Lawsuit, Rally Preceding Hearing

ACLU Asks For Court Order Requiring Michigan To Immediately Recognize Marriages Of Same-Sex Couples Who Legally Wed

By BTL Staff

DETROIT - A federal judge will hear arguments on Thursday, Aug. 21 at 9:30 a.m. in the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan lawsuit challenging Michigan's refusal to recognize the legal marriages of 300 same-sex couples who were wed in March after a federal judge struck down the state's ban on marriage equality and before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals put the decision on hold.

The lawsuit, filed in April on behalf of eight same-sex couples who were legally married during this window, argues that the state is violating the couples' due process and equal protection rights by refusing to recognize the marriages. At the time these couples got married, the marriage ban in Michigan had been struck down in the DeBoer ruling and it was legal for them to wed.

The ACLU's lawsuit argues that the state cannot "undo" these legal marriages after they have taken place. The ACLU is therefore seeking a preliminary injunction asking the court to require the state to immediately recognize the marriages. Although the DeBoer case is pending on appeal in the Sixth Circuit, the ACLU lawsuit seeks permanent recognition of the 300 marriages no matter what happens on appeal in DeBoer.

In a virtually identical situation to Michigan, the State of Utah had refused to recognize the legal marriages of same-sex couples who were married after Utah's ban on marriage equality was struck down as unconstitutional and before that decision was stayed pending appeal. In May, a federal district court in Utah ordered the state to recognize those marriages in another ACLU case, holding that Utah's invalidation of those marriages was unconstitutional. The Utah court emphasized that the legal marriages of same-sex couples in that state had to be recognized regardless of what ultimately happened to the Utah marriage equality ruling on appeal.

The couples are represented by ACLU attorneys Jay Kaplan, Michael J. Steinberg, Dan Korobkin, Brooke Tucker, Kary Moss, and John Knight and ACLU cooperating attorneys Julian Mortenson and Andrew Nickelhoff.


WHAT: Hearing and rally in the ACLU of Michigan lawsuit challenging the stateÕs refusal to recognize the marriages of 300 same-sex couples who were lawfully wed after a federal judge struck down the stateÕs ban on marriage equality and before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals put the decision on hold.

A rally of families in support of marriage equality organized by Michigan for Marriage will precede the hearing at 8:30 a.m. EST.

WHEN: Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 9:30 a.m.


Theordore Levin Courthouse

231 W. Lafayette, Detroit

Courtroom 225 (Judge Cohn's Courtroom)

Hearing moved from previous location in Flint

Pridesource related stories:

ACLU Of Michigan Asks Court To Order State to Recognize LGBT Marriages


}Michigan Same Sex Couples Demand Respect And Equal Treatment http://www.pridesource.com/article.html?article=65695

To read more about the lawsuit and plaintiffs, go to: http://www.aclumich.org/300Families.

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