On Friday, March 21, 2014, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman struck down the 2004 law that banned same-sex marriages in Michigan, declaring it unconstitutional and against the Equal Protection of the 14th Amendment.
Michigan’s premier LGBT newspaper, Between the Lines, reported on the decision and the case:
U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman declared Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, friday later afternoon. No stay was issued immediately in the decision, however Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed an emergency request for stay of the ruling.
“No court record of this proceeding could ever fully convey,” the decision reads, “the personal sacrifice of these two plaintiffs who seek to ensure that the state may no longer impair the rights of their children and the thousands of others now being raised by same-sex couples.”
“It is the Court’s fervent hope that these children will grow up ‘to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives.’ Windsor, 133 S. Ct. at 2694. Today’s decision is a step in that direction, and affirms the enduring principle that regardless of whoever finds favor in the eyes of the most recent majority, the guarantee of equal protection must prevail.”
Bill Schuette, the Michigan Attorney General, will travel to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio on Monday to attempt to get a stay on the ruling and file an appeal. However, in his decision, Judge Friedman (a Reagan appointee), thoroughly debunked all of the “claims” of the State against marriage equality.
You can read the entire decision here: See the full decision here.
County clerks in four Michigan counties will issue marriage licenses on Saturday morning and waive the usual 3-day waiting period; several others will on Monday–not waiting for a possible stay. This is fast-moving news; stay tuned!