The issue of marriage for gay and lesbian couples is one being faced in many parts of the country today, including Michigan. In states where gay marriage is not currently allowed, same-sex couples can opt for cohabitation agreements to help formalize their unions to some degree in the eyes of the law. Having a formal partnership agreement can be helpful when pursuing gay and lesbian adoption or in other situations.
Michigan couples who are gay or lesbian, however, may soon have the ability to be legally married. A case is currently in front of a federal district court judge that could overturn the 2004 law banning same-sex marriage in the state. The Michigan Attorney General is fighting to preserve the ban on gay marriage but it is the expectation that the U.S. District Court judge will, in fact, rule the 2004 law unconstitutional.
In anticipation of this potential overturning, 44 clergy members in various parts of the state are prepared to marry couples immediately, waiving the standard waiting period between filing for a marriage license and actually getting married. The goal of this is to allow as many couples to marry before further action by a higher court could take place. The ability to be legally married and formalize non-traditional unions will help many couples in many ways including to be able to legally partner each other’s children.
Gay or lesbian couples interested in learning more about their rights no matter what the laws allow in Michigan may benefit from working with an attorney who understands the laws. Many attorneys can work to help same-sex couples achieve their full legal rights.
Source: USA Today, “Michigan same-sex couples await go-ahead to marry,” L.L. Brasier, October 14, 2013