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Gov. Snyder: Marriages Were Legal, But Michigan Will Not Recognize Them Unless Stay Is Lifted [Video]

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Michigan will not recognize the more than 300 same-sex marriages performed last weekend (though the marriages were performed legally at the time) before a court halted a decision that opened the door to gay marriage, Gov. Rick Snyder said Wednesday.

The announcement was made just a day after an appeals court  stopped any additional same-sex marriages while it reviews the decision that struck down a 2004 Michigan law that states that marriage only is between a man and a woman.

Snyder’s move makes it so that certain benefits reserved solely for married couples will not be available to same sex couples unless the law is overturned for good.

Four counties took the step of granting licenses this past Saturday before the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a temporary halt. On Tuesday, the halt was extended indefinitely.

On Wednesday afternoon, the governor said that the marriages were legal at the time but the stay means the ban now is back in effect.

Snyder’s official statement from the State of Michigan website reads:

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.”

Another Republican, Attorney General Bill Schuette, has aggressively defended the gay marriage ban.

The ban was enacted in 2004 after receiving 59 percent of the vote.

Schuette said it’s his job to oppose challenges to the state constitution.

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