Michigan's Ban On Gay Marriage Struck Down: The Latest

Friday, March 21, 2014

Earlier Friday, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman struck down Michigan's ban on gay marriage. Here's the latest.

The initial report on the ruling from the Associated Press:

"A judge has struck down Michigan's ban on gay marriage, the latest in a series of decisions overturning similar laws across the country.

Federal Judge Bernard Friedman ruled Friday, two weeks after a trial. Two Detroit-area nurses who've been partners for eight years claimed the ban violated their rights under the U.S. Constitution."

The 18th State

Michigan is the 18th state where gay marriage is legal. Here's an animation of all the states that allow gay marriage (with the exception of Michigan). Check it out here.

A temporary stay until March 26.

The Michigan Public Radio Network had reported that the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals would not issue a stay this weekend on the decision to strike down Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage. Stating that weddings would continue until at least noon Tuesday.

It is now reported that the court has in fact issued a temporary stay until March 26.

Same-sex marriages begin in Michigan

Here's a report from Michigan radio's Rick Pluta, as the first same-sex weddings begin in Michigan:

First same-sex marriage performed in Michigan by WDET

...and in Ferndale:

...and from the Oakland County Clerk's office:

County Clerk Issues 1st Gay Marriage License

On Friday we spoke with Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum. She said she would be ready to pass out marriage licenses on Monday morning. Well, change of plans. She started Saturday. Here's a video from the Freep and her tweet that said so.

Here's the story and the video below:

Her tweet from Friday:

Here's the audio from our interview with Byrum (1:05):

Michigan's Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum by WDET

We also spoke with Lisa Brown, Oakland County Clerk, earlier this month. She told us that if the judge ruled that the ban on same-sex marriages was unconstitutional, she'd be ready to issue licenses to same-sex couples the next day. It looks like she'll have to wait until Monday. But, in any event, here's that interview (8:32):

Clerk says She's Ready to Issue Gay Marriage Licenses - The Craig Fahle Show by The Craig Fahle Show

Influencing The Nation

We spoke with Jay Kaplan, LGBT Project Staff Attorney for the ACLU of Michigan, about Judge Friedman's ruling on gay marriage. Kaplan says this ruling could influence the nation.

Here's our interview with him (1:51):

Same-Sex Marriage Decision Could Influence Cases Across US, Says ACLU Attorney by WDET

'Equal protection must prevail'

"All of these federal courts are recognizing what I think the majority people have recognized in this country for quite a while that to deprive same-sex couples of the rights that married couples have is simply unfair and now it's clearly unconstitutional," says Frank Aiello is the Vice President of the Board of Directors at Affirmations.

Here's his interview (1:27):
Aiello Mix by WDET

The April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse press conference

The full press conference with April DeBoer, Jayne Rowse and their legal team at Affirmations in Ferndale on Friday:

April DeBoer And Jayne Rowse Press Conference At Affirmations in Ferndale by WDET

...but if you don't have time to listen to the whole press conference, here are a few highlights:

Jayne Rowse thanks an emotional crowd

DeBoer and Rowse Aren't Ready To Get Their Marriage License Just Yet

DeBoer's and Rowse's Attorney Says Questions Still Unanswered

The Documents

Below are three documents from the ruling. Judge Friedman's judgement, the findings of fact and conclusions of law, the notice of appeal and the temporary stay.

Temporary stay on striking down Michigan's gay marriage ban

Judgment in Michigan's Same-Sex Marriage Case

Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

Notice of State Appeal in DeBoer Case