Brian Merucci and Bruce Morgan filed a lawsuit last year in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, MI in an effort to have the state recognize their 2013 marriage in New York state.
The couple sought legal fees from the state after the Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling declaring same-sex marriage legal in all states. But unlike other couples who asked for restitution of legal fees used to fight for their marital recognition Mr. Merucci and Mr. Morgan. Their case had then been on hold pending resolution of other cases before the high court.
Their attorney, Stephanie Myott, argued that the rulings in other cases by the Supreme Court compelled a ruling in her clients’ favor that includes an award of attorney fees and costs.
But the state is saying that the plaintiffs are not the “prevailing party.” And that the case is moot.
“As this court has recognized, Plaintiffs’ claims have been rendered moot by the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges,” Assistant Attorney General Michael Murphy, representing Gov. Rick Snyder, wrote in a recent filing.
“Consequently, there is no need for this Court to provide Plaintiffs with relief to ‘modify’ Governor Snyder’s behavior in a way that directly benefits Plaintiffs. Instead, Plaintiffs’ marriage will be recognized by the State of Michigan without any intervention or relief from this Court. In the absence of any relief, Plaintiffs have failed to meet the ‘prevailing party’ threshold requirement and are not entitled to attorney’s fees “
The plaintiffs contend they would not have had to file the lawsuit if the state had recognized their marriage. They are seeking $34,325.
In an attempt to remain in the news and relevant now that same-sex marriage is over and they have nothing else actively going on. The Human Rights Campaign today sent out a press release denouncing Scott Walkers’ 2016 Presedential campaign.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released the following statement after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign refused to answer a question from a Washington Post columnist about whether Walker “thought children needed to be protected from gay men.” According to the story, Walker’s spokesperson “did not respond.”
HRC’s Director of Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof released the following statement: “Scott Walker claims to be a new face on the national stage, but he’s introducing himself to a national audience with an outdated and offensive idea. He and his campaign should answer this simple, straightforward question: Does he think we pose a threat to the health and safety of children? Yes or no? His campaign’s attempt to duck this simple question is unworthy of a candidate who is seeking an office that is responsible for representing all Americans – including LGBT people.”
Yesterday, Walker asserted that he supports the Boy Scouts of America (BSA)’s current discriminatory policy that bars gay, lesbian and bisexual adults from serving as employees and troop leaders because it “protected” children.
And here I thought that HRC would def totes endorse Walker. But with a big enough donation from the right person who knows?