Hey, Michigan! Stop being so weird!
The state that gave us Elizabeth Berkley just made the fight for marriage equality even more complicated. First, a judge overturned the state’s marriage ban, yay. Then a couple hundred couples got married, yay again. And then the Governor said that the licenses were definitely valid, yay one more time.
But there’s a catch: valid though they may be, the state can’t actually treat the couples as though they are wed. BOOOOOO.
That’s because Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is appealing the ruling, and the Sixth Circuit has stayed the ruling pending appeal. That will take at least several months — or as we saw in California, several years. So, in the mean time, 323 couples are left with a marriage license that works in other some states, but not where they actually live.
But to be honest, the appeal will likely be fairly quick. Numerous other states are rocketing towards the Supreme Court’s next session, and Michigan will probably want to be among them. (Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Nevada, etc.) Expect to see briefs in May or June, or possibly earlier if the court grants a request for an expedited schedule.
And in the mean time, if you’re one of those married couples in Michigan, you might want to play it safe and move to Iowa for a while until all this blows over. Or sue the state to force them to recognize your license. Whatever!