Gay Marriages in Legal Limbo, Wait Until Wednesday

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LANSING (WILX)-- After hundreds of gay couples in Michigan tied the knot over the weekend, same-sex weddings are now on hold, again.
It's been a whirlwind 72 hours for gay marriage in our state.

Attorney General Bill Schuette was in Midland Monday morning and had this to say about the appeals process of the judge's ruling:

"That's why there will be an appeals process just like we see in states, there are about eight other states across the country where the appeals have been filed. Stays have been issued, and in one instance the justice of the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay. So it will be an orderly process. That's what will happen, that's the instruction from the United States Supreme Court," said Schuette.

Calling the appeals process necessary, it was the Attorney General who issued a request that resulted in the halt of all same-sex marriages in Michigan until at least Wednesday.

"The courts will sort that out. I mean that's what this process is for."

But the stay wasn't issued until more than three hundred same-sex couples were married, as Ingham and three other counties decided to open their doors early on Saturday.

"There's always the possibility of the stay. I personally did not think it would come over the weekend. I am shocked it came over the weekend. I am extremely thankful that I opened on Saturday now," said Barb Byrum, Ingham County Clerk.

Governor Rick Snyder has already indicated that those marriages will not be recognized until the appeals court reaches a decision.
Not very romantic for many newlyweds, but some say the prudent thing to do legally.

"The governor is attempting to prevent the situation where maybe a couple goes in and was married on Saturday and today they file for adoption. Then six months from now the appeals court overturns the decision and all of a sudden they are not married and then what do they do with the adoption," said Emily Horvath, Cooley Law School Professor.

It could be months, possibly years before the final decision is made on Michigan's gay marriage rights. But couples, like Glenna DeJong and Marsha Caspar who were the first gay couple to be married in Michigan plan to fight.

"We are on the right side of history, but that doesn't mean we can be complacent. It will only happen if we stay on top of it," said DeJong.


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