Local Same-Sex Couples Disappointed Over Judge's Ruling

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

It was a time of celebration at the Ingham County Courthouse, Wednesday, as around 20 same-sex couples sat, ready to finally say their vows...legally.

But smiles quickly faded as Judge Bernard Friedman announced he wouldn't make a decision on Michigan's gay marriage ban until after the case goes to trial in February.

It was a devastating announcement for Marnee Rutledge and Samantha Wolf of Lansing, who had a ceremony in August and were waiting to make it legal in their home state. But time may be up for Michigan.

"Now that they're saying February, it keeps being put off and how long can I afford to go without health benefits," said Rutledge. "We may have to go to another state then."

Barb Byrum, one of a handful of Michigan Clerks ready to give out licenses, was disappointed with the ruling.

"Can you imagine coming to your wedding day and having to stand at the altar for another four months? That's what's happened to these couples," said the Ingham County Clerk.

Still, Byrum says it's only a matter of time before the ban is overturned in Michigan.

"It's not if, but rather when, our state has equality," she said.

Until then, the waiting game continues for couples, like Robin and Betsy Miner-Swartz, who have been together for ten years.

"We are from Michigan and we are waiting for those rights in Michigan and we will keep waiting," said Robin Miner-Swartz.

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