Married Gay Couples In Michigan Are In Legal Limbo

Human Rights

Frank Markus and Michael Smith held a wedding ceremony in Michigan on Sunday night.  Now the only question is whether it will be recognized by the state.

Markus and Smith are one of many Michigan gay couples awaiting a ruling by a court of appeals that will decide whether their a stay on their marriages will expire or whether an extension will be issued.  It’s put gay couples in legal limbo.  As Markus and Smith told Detroit’s ABC affiliate, “they are in legal limbo over health care benefits, taxes and several other issues.”

The ruling will come after a Friday decision that struck down the state’s gay marriage ban.  But Michigan's Attorny General, Bill Schuette, immediately appealed the ruling, and a court then issued a stay on the ruling until Wednesday.

Advocates for gay couples have harshly criticized the Attorney General’s move to appeal the ruling.  Dana Nessel, the lawyer for the gay couple that brought the suit, also slammed his conduct in court.  “What I find to be most disappointing and most disturbing is the fact that the basis that the Attorney General used to process in this case is that gays and lesbians and same sex couples made bad parents,” Nessel told the ABC affiliate.

The gay marriage debate has become an issue in the Michigan governor’s race.  The current Republican governor, Rick Snyder, would not take a position on the gay marriage ruling striking down the state ban.

Smith is a screenwriter and Markus is the technical director at Motor Trend magazine. They live in suburban Detroit and have been partners for 22 years. They picked up their marriage license in Oakland County the day after they heard the ban was overturned on Friday. They married on Sunday in front of about 100 guests.

Watch the video from Detroit's WXYZ television:


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