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Michigan Democrats: Grant Federal Benefits To Same-Sex Newlyweds

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(credit: istock)

(credit: istock)

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Six Democrats in Michigan’s congressional delegation are asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to recognize more than 300 same-sex marriages performed last weekend.

The marriages were completed before an appeals court suspended a decision that overturned Michigan’s ban on gay marriage.

Gov. Rick Snyder said Wednesday the state recognizes the marriages as legal, but won’t give the couples state benefits unless the stay is lifted.

The lawmakers want the government to treat the same-sex couples as legally married.

The letter is signed by Senators. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, and Reps. John Dingell, Sander Levin, Gary Peters and Dan Kildee.

“Essentially what the letter says to the Attorney General is that since these are legal and valid marriage, that for federal law purposes they should be recognised,” Sander Levin told WWJ Newsrasdio 950. “And that’s what happened when there was a similar situation in Utah when there were people married under the law and then there was a further challenge in the courts.

In January, Holder said the government would honor same-sex marriages in Utah. The Justice Department so far has said it’s monitoring the situation in Michigan.

Michigan couples lined up in four counties last Saturday morning to get marriage licenses after federal Judge Bernard Friedman ruled Friday that the state’s 2004 ban is unconstitutional.

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