Counties Prepare Same-Sex Marriage Licenses as Federal Trial Continues

Not being able to marry same-sex couples back in October has stuck with Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum. Now, with the high-profile case back on in Detroit, Byrum says she's ready as soon as the law permits.

"We will be ready in that we will have applications that are gender neutral and we will be working on the marriage license," she said.

The Eaton and Clinton County Clerks tell us they will also go with the changes as soon as necessary, but there are also matters beyond marriage to consider.

If the ban is overturned, Cooley Law School Associate Professor Emily Horvath says businesses would no longer be able to discriminate on who gets marriage benefits.

"If you have a couple that is married, regardless of if it's same-sex or heterosexual, you have to receive the same rights and they have to receive the same benefits, in that there can't be a distinction between those two," said Horvath.

That's if a decision comes at the end of the trial, but Horvath doesn't think that will happen.

"Based on six other states that have fallen, the judge is likely going to rule that the ban is unconstitutional under the federal constitution and he will put a stay on his decision," she said.

Meaning it will have to go through an Appeals Court and possibly the U.S. Supreme Court before Michigan sees any real change. That could be as late as 2015.


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