Temporary suspension issued for same-sex marriages


DETROIT – Many new developments have arisen since Judge Friedman issued his ruling late Friday afternoon lifting Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage.

On Saturday morning, clerks in four Michigan counties opened up to issue marriage licenses and perform marriages. Just before 5 p.m. the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay, temporarily suspending same sex marriages until at least Wednesday. The court will hear arguments on whether or not the stay should remain in place.

Many couples celebrating Friday are now waiting and wondering what comes next.

As many same-sex couples flocked to their county clerk's offices Saturday, they suspected time may not be on their side. They were right.

A Birmingham couple of 24 years were married Saturday morning before the temporary stay was issued.

"It's wonderful. It gives you piece of mind," said BC Cabangbang. "There's a little bounce in your step. We've attended a lot of weddings. Finally, we know what it's like."

Washtenaw County Clerk Larry Kestenbaum issued 74 marriage licenses Saturday. He had to turn about two dozen couples away at closing time.

"I was telling them the window was closing but they were grateful that I had gone to the effort of opening on
Saturday," Kestenbaum said.

Those couples are now in limbo, due to the court's stay.

The temporary stay means county clerks can no longer issue marriage licenses to same sex couples until at least Wednesday.

"I would be (in) tears. I would be just inconsolable," Cabangbang said.

Just hours into their life as newlyweds, Saturday was bittersweet for the couple as the battle wages on in the courts.

"We can't really celebrate until everybody is able to get married and then we will really fully celebrate," Cabangbang said.

The Michigan governor's office says state agencies won't immediately recognize hundreds of same-sex marriages that were performed in the hours before an appeals court put on hold a judge's ruling that tossed out a state ban on gay marriage.

Spokeswoman Sara Wurfel told The Associated Press on Sunday that Governor Rick Snyder considers the issue moot until the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati decides whether to extend the hold on the ruling.

That's expected no sooner than Wednesday.