Lawmakers: Give benefits to same-sex newlyweds - New York News

Lawmakers: Give benefits to same-sex newlyweds

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DETROIT (WJBK) -- 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. The lawmakers want the government to treat the same-sex couples as legally married for the purpose of qualifying for federal benefits.

The six lawmakers are Reps. Dan Kildee, Sander Levin, Gary Peters and John Dingell, and Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin.

Part of the letter reads, "It's a shame to me that Governor Snyder and Bill Schuette continue to work around the clock to deny these committed couples the same opportunity for love and happiness that they enjoy themselves. The U.S. Constitution affords the same protections and fairness to everyone regardless of whom they love."

Gov. Rick Snyder says Michigan won't recognize the marriages for state benefits.

Kelly Callison of Ypsilanti is among those hundreds of couples whose marriages are in limbo.

She has been with her partner, Anne, for five years and the two have a 2-year-old son, Corbin. Anne carried and delivered Corbin using Kelly's egg, making Kelly the biological mother.

"You can imaging how hurtful that is to be denied the rights to your biological child. You have the people that don't support our marriage and don't support relationships like ours say, 'Biological children need to be with their biological parents and they need to have those protections for their children.' But, in our particular story, I am a biological parent that is being denied the rights of a biological parent," Kelly says.

Because of the state's decision, Kelly cannot adopt her own son or have the legal protections most biological mothers do.

In January, Holder said the government would honor same-sex marriages in Utah in a case very similar to Michigan's. The Justice Department so far has said it's monitoring the situation in Michigan.

Copyright 2014 by myFOXDetroit.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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