The federal government will recognize about 300 same sex marriages performed last Saturday
(USA TODAY) WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday that the federal government would recognize about 300 same sex marriages performed last Saturday in Michigan before a U.S. appeals court ordered a temporary halt.
"These families will be eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages,'' Holder said in a written statement. "The governor of Michigan has made clear that the marriages that took place on Saturday were lawful and valid when entered into, although Michigan will not extend state rights and benefits tied to these marriages pending further legal proceedings.''
Holder said the newly married couples will be required to "wait for further resolution in the courts before they may seek federal benefits to which they are entitled.''
Michigan Gov. Rick Ryan said Wednesday that the marriages were "legal,'' but the appeals court's stay had "complicated'' the application of state benefits.
"Because of the stay, we won't recognize the benefits of the marriage until there's a removal of the stay,'' Ryan said.