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First Same-Sex Couple Married In Michigan To Visit White House

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Back in March, we shared with you the story of Tim LaCroix and Gene Barfield, the first same-sex couple to be married in in our state. This week, they will be President Obama’s guests of honor.

Michigan banned same-sex marriages back in 2004, however federally recognized Native American tribes are not bound by state law as they are self-governing.  The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in Petoskey is one of three US Indian tribes that recognize same-sex marriage. In fact, Dexter McNamara signed the bill allowing same-sex marriages on March 15 then performed the ceremony uniting LaCroix and Barfield.

The couple will be guests of President Barack Obama this Thursday at a reception that honors LGBT Pride Month.  The Boyne City residents cancelled a trip to California to attend the event in Washington.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Gene Barfield returned his service medals from time served in the U.S. Navy, and protested at the White House when the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy went into effect.  The policy, that allowed gays to serve with the understanding that they are not open about their sexual orientation, was repealed in 2011.


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