Michigan couple seeks immediate marriage recognition as spouse’s illness worsens

Brian Merucci and Bruce Morgan on their wedding day, Dec. 7, 2013, in New York City.

Brian Merucci and Bruce Morgan on their wedding day, Dec. 7, 2013, in New York City.

Brian Merucci and Bruce Morgan on their wedding day, Dec. 7, 2013, in New York City.

Brian Merucci and Bruce Morgan on their wedding day, Dec. 7, 2013, in New York City.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A same-sex couple is asking a federal court to order Michigan to recognize their out-of-state marriage immediately as one man’s fight with brain cancer worsens.

MLive reports:

East Grand Rapids couple Bruce Morgan and Brian Merucci married in 2013 in New York, where same-sex marriage is legal. They filed a lawsuit against Snyder in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids last spring after their marriage was not recognized in Kent County.

U.S. District Judge Gordon Quist ordered a stay in the case pending the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban.

Morgan was diagnosed in 2011 with inoperable brain cancer that is now progressing, and the couple can’t afford to wait for Supreme Court’s ruling, documents state.

In a filing, the couple said the court’s rationale for staying the case is no longer relevant since Gov. Rick Snyder earlier this year decided not to appeal a federal injunction requiring the state recognize marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples on March 22, 2014.

Snyder in February said that the state would extend state marriage benefits to the 300 same-sex couples who married the one day it was legal.

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Michigan is among the four states — along with Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee — whose same-sex amrriage bans were upheld last year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in those cases on April 28 and could issue a nationwide ruling on marriage equality by June.

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