Gay Couple Suing Gov. Snyder, Kent Co. Clerk Over Marriage Recognition

Posted at 4:46 PM, Jun 12, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-12 16:56:32-04

Governor Rick Snyder during an interview with FOX 17 in 2013.

KENT COUNTY, Mich. (June 12, 2014) — Two men who were married in New York and live in Kent County are suing  Gov. Rick Snyder and Kent County Clerk Mary Hollinrake for refusing to recognize their marriage.

According to documents filed in U.S. District Court Wednesday, Brian Merucci and Bruce Morgan are suing  because they assert that during the brief window in March when same-sex ceremonies were legally performed, no statement was made regarding ceremonies previously performed out-of-state.

The federal complaint reads, in part:

“Governor Snyder acknowledged that same-sex marriages performed in Michigan on March 22, 2014 before the stay was entered were legal… Governor Snyder only addressed the same-sex marriages performed in Michigan.  He failed to address the same sex couples married in other states who were residing in Michigan when DeBoer v. Snyder was decided and to declare Michigan’s position with respect to the legality of those marriages following the Sixth Circuit’s stay.”

To read the full complaint, click here.

Merucci and Morgan have been together for seven years and were married in New York in December 2013, more than two years after Morgan was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer.

“Bruce and Brian are anxious to have their marriage treated the same as that of any opposite-sex married couple living in Michigan and to enjoy state rights and benefits associated with marriage,” their complaint says.

A U.S. Court of Appeals judge issued an extended stay on Judge Bernard Friedman’s March 21 ruling striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Friedman declared the ban unconstitutional because he said it violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.