DETROIT -

The action in this case was not confined to federal court.

At clerk's offices around Metro Detroit, such as the office in Washtenaw County, gay and lesbian couples showed up Wednesday hoping to get marriage licenses, but it didn't happen.

"Disappointing, I had hoped that there would have been a decision made today. However, I'm still optimistic," said one same-sex marriage supporter.

While a federal judge is sending the case on whether to overturn Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage to trial next year, the worst kept secret in local politics is that a statewide ballot initiative is coming to make same-sex marriage legal in Michigan.

"I would expect by 2016 that we will see this issue on the ballot and it will be a rallying cause for Democrats," said political strategist Dennis Darnoi.

Michigan voters approved the ban on same-sex marriages by a large margin -- 59 percent -- in 2004. However, attitudes in the intervening years have changes. Does that mean it's an easy sell with the voters?

Not just yet.

"Are more people in favor of same-sex marriage? Absolutely. But no, it's not a slam dunk and there are still a lot of variables, a lot of factors "

Insiders say the ballot initiative is likely to appear in 2016.