Michigan Court Extends Stay Blocking Same-Sex Marriage

by Norris Law Group on March 31, 2014

mi_gay-marriage-protestOn March 26, Reuters reported that a U.S. appeals court has extended a temporary stay on a federal judge’s ruling striking down Michigan’s voter-supported ban on same-sex marriages. This extension effectively blocks gay couples from being issues marriage licenses, pending appeal.

On Friday, March 21, a federal judge in Detroit struck down Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage, deeming it unconstitutional on the grounds that it breached equal protection rights under federal law. County clerks throughout the state issued more than 300 marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Saturday before the appeals court temporarily stopped the judge’s decision from taking effect on Tuesday.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Governor Rick Snyder immediately filed a notice that they planned to appeal the federal court’s decision and requested that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to put the ruling on hold pending a review. Attorneys for a lesbian couple who challenged Michigan’s law asked the appeals court to deny the stay, and argued that the state “[has] not established and cannot establish a likelihood of success on the merits of their appeal.”

The appellate court cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s granting of a stay after a federal judge last year overturned a ban on same-sex marriages in Utah. Clerks in Utah also issued marriage licenses right away while Utah’s attorney general appealed the ruling.

Same-sex marriages that took place in Michigan on Saturday, March 22 will not be recognized by the state while the stay is in place.

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County and throughout Utah in the area of divorce and family law. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.

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