State agencies not yet recognizing Saturday's same-sex marriages

On hold: State agencies not yet recognizing Saturday's same-sex marriages

Posted: Updated:
(WJBK) -

Attorney General Bill Schuette launched his re-election campaign just days after a defeat in federal court when Michigan's ban on same sex marriage was overturned by Judge Bernard Friedman.

Hundreds of people rushed out to get married on Saturday before the appeals court granted a stay sought by Schuette. Now, Governor Rick Snyder says those marriages will not be recognized by the state pending the appeal.

"The courts are going to have to sort that out," Schuette says.

Constitutional law professor Dan Ray says Snyder and Schuette are wrong in refusing to recognize the same-sex couples who married on Saturday.

"Sadly, it leaves them in something of a legal limbo, doesn't it? Because they are married; their marriages were lawful," Ray says. "And yet they find themselves in a circumstance where the governor says, 'I'm not going to recognize the validity of your marriage,' which means depriving them of benefits, depriving them of, say, the ability to jointly file a Michigan tax return."

Even Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, himself an attorney and a conservative, questions the strength of the appeal.

"I don't know that he had a choice. He is a law enforcement officer. This is a Michigan law. He's got to defend the law. Do I predict a victory? No, I think Bill's fighting a losing battle because of the make up of the courts these days," says Patterson.

The state of Michigan says it has spent $40,000 on witnesses who testified as experts at a recent trial on same-sex marriage.

Judge Friedman described their testimony as "largely" or "entirely" unbelievable. He says their opinions of the well-being of children raised by same-sex couples are on the "fringe."

The highest bill is still coming, though. Since the state lost the case at the lower level, it will have to pay all of the plaintiff's legal expenses.

The lawyers for April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse estimate those expenses could add up to the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Schuette launched his campaign Monday with an event in his hometown of Midland. His re-election kick-off tour is to take him to Escanaba, Ludington and a number of other stops across the state this week.

The 60-year-old Schuette is a former congressman, state lawmaker and appeals judge. He was elected attorney general in 2010 and is seen as a potential candidate for governor in 2018.

Copyright 2014 by myFOXDetroit.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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