Suit: MI should recognize NY same-sex marriage

Bruce Morgan (left) and Brian Merucci's wedding photo. (Courtesy Facebook)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A same-sex couple is suing Michigan and Kent County, saying their New York marriage should be recognized.

Bruce Morgan and Brian Merucci got married in New York in 2013. They  live in Kent County and want their home listed in both their names as a couple.

But according to their suit, when they went to the Kent County Clerk’s Office, they were denied because Michigan does not recognize same-sex marriages.

In March, a federal court judge found Michigan’s 2004 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, allowing weddings for same-sex marriages in Michigan. But after about 300 were performed, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay on the judge’s ruling.

The state won’t recognize those marriages until the matter works its way through the appeals process and is settled for good. That case hasn’t yet been resolved, but no matter the outcome, it would not apply to marriage licenses issued in other states.

Merucci and Morgan’s suit, filed Wednesday, says the couple has been together for seven years and lived together since 2011.

Morgan has an inoperable brain cancer. According to the suit, the pair wants to make sure that they have the same spousal rights as any opposite-sex couple during Morgan’s treatment, and in case he doesn’t survive. They also want to make sure their joint property is protected.

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