Lawyers representing Michigan argue in
a brief filed Friday that a recent appeals court ruling upholding the
state's ban on gay marriage invalidates the marriages of 300 gay and
The weddings took place in four
counties the day after U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman struck
down Michigan's ban on March 21, a Friday. The Cincinnati-based
Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay on Friedman's ruling
after 300 couples had exchanged vows.
While the federal government said that
it will honor the marriages, Republican Governor Rick Snyder refused
to do so, prompting eight of the couples to file a federal lawsuit to
have their marriages recognized by the state.
On November 6, a 3-judge panel of the
Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Michigan's ban and those in
Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.
“Consequently, from a legal
standpoint, because the marriages rested solely on the district
court's erroneous decision, which has now been reversed, it is as if
the marriages never existed, and Plaintiffs' requests for benefits
attendant to a legal marriage must be denied,” the
state said in its filing.
Plaintiff couple Frank Colasonti Jr.
and James Ryder told The Detroit News that they were “shocked
and angry that the state of Michigan would continue to argue that our
legal marriages are null and void.”
Plaintiffs have until November 21 to
file supplemental briefs.
(Brief provided by Equality