Governor Rick Snyder to recognize hundreds of Michigan same-sex marriages

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and his wife Sue Snyder wave to crowd following his victory speech during the Michigan Republican Party Statewide Election Night party in the Renaissance Ballroom of the Detroit Marriott at The Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. (Ryan Garza/Detroit Free Press/MCT)

Gov. Rick Snyder announced Wednesday the state will recognize more than 300 same-sex marriages that were performed on March 22, 2014.

Eric Dennis believes all people, gay or straight, should be allowed equal rights, specifically the right to marry. 

The Oscoda freshman said the recent push to recognize same-sex marriages in Michigan is a sign that Americans are more accepting of homosexuality than ever before. 

"Everyone's voice matters, everyone should be happy," Dennis said. "It probably should have been legal before, but more people are out and open about it today. Some people still aren't supportive, but a lot of people are realizing they're human beings just like us."

Snyder said he won't appeal U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith’s ruling last month that stated Michigan must recognize these unions.

"The judge has determined that same-sex couples were legally married on that day, and we will follow the law and extend state marriage benefits to those couples," Snyder said in a press release.

Same-sex couples will be given the same spousal benefits as straight couples. They can now file joint income taxes, enjoy pension benefits and adopt children.

"I know there are strong feelings on both sides of this issue, and it's vitally important for an expedient resolution that will allow people in Michigan, as well as other states, to move forward together on the other challenges we face," Snyder said in the press release. "I appreciate that the larger question will be addressed by the U.S. Supreme Court this year. This is an issue that has been divisive across our country. Our nation’s highest court will decide this issue."

Highland freshman Nicole Schumacher said the issue has already been decided. Comparing today's gay rights movement to civil rights struggles of the past, she said further discussion of the issue will lead to more support. 

"It's naive to not support gay marriage," Schumacher said. "If we don't learn from our history, we repeat it. Good for (Snyder) and the 300 couples."