The federal government will recognize the same-sex marriage performed in Michigan last Saturday after a judge struck down a ban on gay nuptials but before an appeals court put the ceremonies on hold pending appeal.
"These families will be eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages," Attorney General Eric Holder said on Friday.
"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.
"For purposes of federal law, as I announced in January with respect to similarly situated same-sex couples in Utah, these Michigan couples will not be asked to wait for further resolution in the courts before they may seek federal benefits to which they are entitled."
More than 300 couples reportedly flocked to four courthouses that opened last Saturday after U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman ruled the state's ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.
An appeals court then issued a temporary stay of Friedman's order, and Gov. Rick Snyder said the state would not recognize the newlyweds' marriage.
First published March 28 2014, 7:35 AM