Appeals court stays judge’s ruling against MI same-sex marriage ban

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Lansing, MI, United States (4E) – The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on Saturday granted a Michigan attorney general’s request to stay a district judge’s Friday ruling striking down the state constitution’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The emergency stay that AG Bill Schuette asked will be temporary, until Wednesday. It prevents county clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples starting Monday.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman’s Friday order made Michigan the 18th state in the nation to allow gays and lesbians to marry. Hours after his past 5 p.m. ruling, which did not come with a stay as other judges did on similar cases, several counties announced they’ll open their clerk’s offices to issue marriage licenses on Saturday. Other counties announced they will begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Monday.

A few counties reportedly issued same-sex couples marriage licenses in the early morning hours of Saturday.

In 2004, some 2.7 million voters upheld the Michigan Marriage Amendment Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. But in his 31-page ruling, Friedman said the guarantee of equal protection must prevail.

The ruling was in response to a lawsuit from Hazel Park nurses April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse. They asked the court to give them the right to marry so they can adopt each other’s special needs children.

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