Michigan county clerks issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after judge's ruling

By Kyle Johnson,

Several county clerk's offices opened up on Saturday providing gay couples who wanted to marry a chance to snag a marriage license just a day after a judge ruled the state's law unconstitutional.

Michigan Equality said that offices in Oakland, Ingham, Washtenaw and Muskegon would open and begin immediately allow gay couples the ability to marry, reports Reuters. How long clerks will be able to continue issuing licenses will depend on if state Attorney General Bill Schuette gets a stay on the ruling during the appeals process.

Ingham County clerk Barb Byrum wrote online, "People have waited long enough," and she posted pictures of a 26-year couple who showed up when the office opened. "I was sick with myself with the idea of waiting until Monday."

As previously reported, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman ruled that the state's 2004 gay marriage ban was unconstitutional. April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse filed a lawsuit back in 2012 as they could not legally adopt each others' children under the current state law.

Michigan argued in the two-week trial that one judge shouldn't subvert the will of 60 percent of voters and that children are better off when they grow up in a traditional family.

Friedman didn't seem inclined to grant a stay to his ruling and so far the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit hadn't granted Michigan's request to suspend the ruling as of Saturday morning.

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