LIVE BLOG: Gay Marriages in Michigan, Temporary Stay in Effect
LANSING, Mich. – The U.S. Federal Appeals Court put Michigan’s same sex marriages on hold Saturday. Read the full emergency motion
From the Ingham County Clerk’s Office where 142 marriage licenses were handed out today..
FROM OAKLAND COUNTY…
Unfortunately there is a temporary stay now. Glad and honored to have officiated for so many loving couples today 💗🌈
— Lisa Brown (@LisaBrown39) March 22, 2014
From OAKLAND COUNTY…
142 marriage licenses issued in Oakland county today! I officiated a majority of them – a great day! Congrats to all the newlyweds ❤
— Lisa Brown (@LisaBrown39) March 22, 2014
From the LA Times, owned by Tribune, the parent company of FOX 17…
By Paresh Dave
March 22, 2014, 2:11 p.m.
Same-sex weddings in Michigan
were abruptly halted Saturday when a federal appeals court put on hold a
lower court ruling that declared the state’s ban on gay marriages
The appellate court order
came Saturday afternoon, after Michigan officials had issued at least
322 marriage licenses to gays and lesbians who jumped at the chance to
be among the first same-sex couples in the state to wed.
County clerks in four of Michigan’s 83 counties called in staff on a
weekend to mark the short-lived (for now) historic shift in Michigan.
The four counties include about a fifth of Michigan’s nearly 10 million
U.S. District Court Judge Bernard Friedman said Friday that
Michigan’s decade-old state constitutional amendment defining marriage
as between a man and a woman violated the U.S. Constitution’s promise of
equal protection for all individuals. In doing so, he immediately
required the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples such
as the pair of female nurses that had challenged the gay marriage ban.
After the ruling was released Friday evening, Michigan Atty. Gen. Bill Schuette filed an emergency request to delay it from going into effect.
But the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did not take immediate
action. On Saturday afternoon, the court gave attorneys for the nurses
until noon Tuesday to rebut the state’s emergency request.
Later Saturday, the appeals court issued another order, this time
saying the same-sex marriage ban would remain in place at least through
Wednesday “to allow a more reasoned consideration of the motion” to keep
the ban in place.
The more than 300 couples who wed Saturday are unlikely to have their marriages recognized by the state, legal experts said.
This sort of legal limbo has happened before. In Utah, more than
1,000 couples were married last year after a federal judge there
declared a ban against same-sex weddings unconstitutional.
That judge’s ruling also was put on hold weeks later by the U.S. Supreme Court,
and the state has not recognized the gay marriages, pending the outcome
of the appeal. But in January, U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. said
the federal government would view those marriages as valid for tax,
healthcare and other purposes.
Federal judges in several states have struck down same-sex wedding
bans but delayed implementation of their orders to let the appeals
process play out.
“We anticipate that the 6th Circuit will issue a permanent stay, just
as courts have ruled in similar cases across the country,” Joy Yearout,
a spokeswoman for the state’s attorney general, said in a statement
In Ingham County, which issued Michigan’s first same-sex marriage
license Saturday, 57 couples had wed, the county clerk said on Twitter.
Oakland County issued 142 licenses, its clerk tweeted. Washtenaw County
issued 74 marriage licenses, the Ann-Arbor News reported.
Muskegon County had been performing ceremonies and issuing licenses
at a church up to the very minute the appeals court’s stay was issued.
The Harbor Unitarian Universalist Church was used because it was easier
to open up without security than a county building, Rebecca St. Clair,
the church’s vice president, told the Los Angeles Times.
Forty-nine licenses had been issued by the time of the stay, with
several disappointed couples still waiting in line. Earlier in the day,
cheers could be heard as batches of couples tied of the knot inside the
The decision striking down the state’s decade-old, voter-approved ban
on gay marriage came Friday, following a two-week trial last fall. At
trial, the state argued that children of gay couples don’t turn out as
well as the children of opposite-sex couples. The judge soundly
dismissed those arguments in his ruling and said the ban violated the
U.S. Constitution’s promise of equal protection for all individuals.
A pair of female nurses from outside of Detroit, April DeBoer and
Jayne Rowse, challenged the ban because they had wanted to jointly adopt
children but that right was only available to married couples.
“We’re so happy and proud Michigan is now on the right side of
history and that we were able to stand up and say this wasn’t fair,”
DeBoer told the media Friday night. The couple said Friday that they
would not marry until the appeals process is finished.
FROM MARRIAGE EQUALITY GROUP:
Appeals Court halts marriage equality
in Michigan until Wednesday
The U.S. Appeals Court for the Sixth Circuit has issued a temporary stay in the DeBoer v. Snyder marriage equality case until Wednesday.
Earlier Saturday, the appeals court issued a one-page order directing the attorneys for the DeBoer-Rowse family to respond to Attorney General Bill Schuette’s request for an emergency stay by noon Tuesday.
That means that same-sex marriages in Michigan HAVE BEEN HALTED until the U.S. Appeals Court for the Sixth Circuit issues a final ruling on the motion for a stay after reviewing the response from the DeBoer-Rowse’s legal team – probably by close of business on Wednesday.
Equality Michigan is urging our members to utilize this pause in marriage equality to:
Sign and share this petition asking Michigan’s Governor and Attorney General to withdraw their appeal to Judge Friedman’s verdict:
Share your photos and stories from today, or express why you would like to get married once the courts allow it: firstname.lastname@example.org
Donate to support the DeBoer-Rowse family’s legal efforts fighting the appeal
Visit Equality Michigan’s Marriage Equality Center for the latest: equalitymi.org/marriage
Help Equality Michigan secure equality for all LGBT people in Michigan in all aspects of their life
THE ENTIRE EMERGENCY MOTION REQUESTING A STAY:
“Given the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the Utah case, I fully expect our request for stay to be granted"
— A.G. Bill Schuette (@SchuetteOnDuty) March 21, 2014
Read the emergency motion requesting a stay HERE!
Kent County just issued this statement:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement on U.S. District Judge Bernard
Decision from Kent County Clerk’s Office
following statement comes from Mary Hollinrake, Clerk of Kent County:
“The Kent County Clerk’s Office will adhere to
the process of law. An appeal of Judge Friedman’s decision has been filed by
Michigan’s Attorney General and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has granted
a temporary stay. We intend to be deliberative in our next steps. This is a
national issue that we believe should be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.”