Michigan Marriage Mayhem

Michigan’s Gay Marriage Ban Back In Place

shutterstock_150999110-michigan590Michigan’s gay marriage ban is back in place today, as last Friday’s ruling that declared the state’s legislation unconstitutional has been indefinitely suspended by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

This will be unwelcome news to the three hundred gay couples that got married on Saturday (23rd) who now face an indefinite period of legal limbo, as happened in Utah in January during a similar legal wrangle when the Supreme Court stepped in.

Attorneys for Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer, the couple whose court case originally overturned the gay marriage ban, wrote:

“There are times when maintaining the status quo makes sense. There are also times when maintaining the status quo is merely a kinder label for perpetuating discrimination that should no longer be tolerated. The public interest in this case lies on the side of ending discrimination, promoting equality and human dignity and providing security for children.”

Michigan’s Attorney General Bill Schuette wrote:

“None of the plaintiffs’ arguments overcome a simple fact: the Supreme Court has already addressed precisely this situation—a federal district court striking down a state marriage amendment—and concluded that a stay pending appeal was necessary.”

Again, the situation “already addressed” is the case in Utah.

Things don’t look especially hopeful for gay couples in Michigan. Schuette continues:

“There can be little doubt that the court tasked with ensuring uniformity in federal law across the Nation will reach the same conclusion regarding the invalidation of Michigan’s Marriage Amendment.”

A lot has changed since last Friday, and new developments are expected to continue over the next few days.

They say a week is a long time in politics, but when it comes to gay marriage legislation, you’re in for an even bumpier ride.

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  • Scribe38

    And that boys and girls is why I hate Republicans and give all I can getting them out of office. Bill is running for office again, lets hope his campaign goes down in flames.

  • Elloreigh

    This development really should not come as a surprise to anyone. Until the controversy over state same-sex marriage bans is decisively settled by the Supreme Court, stays of contested lower court rulings pending appeal are more likely than not.

    Since I was expecting the ruling to be stayed, I wasn’t in any big hurry to see us wind up in legal limbo. My county clerk didn’t open up over the weekend to issue licenses, so it was a moot point for us.

  • jwrappaport

    They’re not really in limbo, at least with respect to federal law. Holder will almost certainly make an announcement similar to that which he made after the same thing happened in Utah: they’ll be married for the purposes of federal law.

    Also, the stay isn’t indefinite. It will be lifted when the Court of Appeals makes its ruling. Any stay of that judgment will be handled by the Supreme Court, which will lift it when it extends Windsor to the states – I say June 2015. It’s not a sure bet by any means, but I think that’s the most likely outcome.

  • tricky ricky

    none of the stays issued by the courts should have been granted for the mere fact the states do not have a likelihood of prevailing on appeal.

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