Benefits Frozen For Gay Couples Who Were Married Saturday - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Benefits Frozen For Gay Couples Who Were Married Saturday

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(WLNS) - With the temporary stay on same-sex marriages in Michigan, it brings many questions for those who were married Saturday, March 22. 

6 News Shelby Miller spoke to experts about the couple's rights.

Legal experts believe the state should not only honor the marriage licenses, but also same-sex couple's benefits, including adoption.

However they say this temporary stay keeps gay couples from those equal rights.

For gay men and women in Michigan, Saturday marked a milestone.

Across the state hundreds rushed to clerk's offices to exchange wedding vows before an appeals court challenge was issued, which could restore the ban.

"Saturday 57 marriage licenses were issued inside this Ingham County Courthouse. But, for the newly married couples, the temporary stay puts a ban on their benefits and that includes adoptions," said Jeffrey Abood, Attorney, Abood Law Firm.

"Unless an adoption was okay'd and was granted during that short window of time on Saturday then the rest of those people are going to have to wait until either the stay gets lifted or the court of appeals decides what they're going to do next," said Abood.

Since the state isn't treating gay couples as married MSU law professor Mae Kuykendall says families who want to adopt now could file a lawsuit.

"Someone could argue and say, we're married, and therefore we're eligible under Michigan law to do a joint adoption of children that we're already caring for. Probably Michigan would say, no, you're not married and that would engage the issue," said Mae Kuykendall, Professor of Law, Michigan State University.

Ingham County clerk Barb Byrum is one of many who wants the US Attorney to declare Saturday's marriages legal for federal benefits.

"Those licenses are valid, those marriages are properly executed, performed marriages those should be recognized as such in our great state," said Barb Byrum, Clerk, Ingham County.

Be sure to stay with 6 News both on-air and online at WLNS.com as we continue to follow this developing story.

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