BTL Staff Report
Oakland County couples were filled with hope, love and determination Saturday, March 22 as they waited to fulfill a chance to legally marry. BTL photo: Andrew Potter
MASON – Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum and East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett sent a joint letter today to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asking the federal government to recognize all the same-sex marriages performed in Michigan March 22.
“Many of the couples that were married on March 22 waited decades for that opportunity,” wrote Byrum and Triplett. “Their marriages complied with Judge Friedman’s order and all relevant provisions of Michigan law and should be recognized as such by state and federal authorities without delay.”
Holder took similar action in Utah after a federal judge struck down Utah’s marriage ban as unconstitutional in late Dec. 2013. In the 17 days it took for the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a stay on that ruling, over 1,300 couples married in Utah. The Utah attorney general announced that none of those marriages would be recognized by the state. But within 45 minutes of that statement, Holder announced that the federal government would recognize all the Utah marriages for all relevant federal benefits.
Byrum and Triplett performed 57 same-sex marriage ceremonies. Three other county clerks opened Saturday to perform marriages – Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown, Washtenaw County Clerk Lawrence Kastenbaum, and Muskegon County Clerk Nancy Waters. In total, 315 same-sex marriages were performed March 22 in Michigan.