Another domino has fallen – Michigan became the fifth state this year to strike down it’s ban on same-sex marriage when MI Eastern District Court Judge Bernard A. Friedman issued his ruling last Friday.
Judge Friedman, a Ronald Reagan appointee, went a step further and denied a stay which would have continued the ban on same-sex marriages. This allowed LGBT Michiganders to marry for less than 24 hours before a Federal Appeals court issued a stay Saturday afternoon. The AP reported more than 300 licenses were issued during this tiny window.
MI’s Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette told the AP the ban “should stand and be respected,” which could be interpreted as an intention to defend the issue put in place by voters in 2004 when 60% said they supported the ban.
MI Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, has yet to confirm if the state will recognize the licenses issued this weekend. In an email sent to the AP, Sara Wurfel, a spokesperson for the governor, said the office will wait for the appeals court decision before moving forward.
“We are extremely sensitive to feelings on this issue and are hoping for a swift resolution for all involved,” said Wurfel. “We are not saying that we aren’t or won’t recognize the marriages that happened on Saturday, but that we’re awaiting further court or legal direction on this complex, unusual situation.”
Last weeks decision adds another state to the total of 12 cases nationally which could be heard by the Supreme Court deciding the future of same-sex marriage. The challenge against VA’s state ban is scheduled to be heard in Richmond’s Federal Appeals court in May.