Gay marriage could be legal in Michigan for short period

If judge rules in same-sex couple's favor, gay marriage could be legal in Michigan for a few hours

By Will Jones - Reporter

HAZEL PARK, Mich. - As mothers to three beautiful adopted children, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse view themselves as an average family, but they say the law says otherwise.

They filed a lawsuit last year challenging Michigan's voter-approved ban on gay marriage.

"It's about legal rights that every heterosexual couple has," said DeBoer.

A U.S. district judge could issue a ruling Wednesday in their case on whether the state's ban violates the U.S. Constitution.

Should the judge lift the ban and decline to issue a stay while it's being appealed, same-sex marriage would be legal in Michigan until a higher court overturns it. That could be for a matter of days or perhaps just hours.

Should that happen, Washtenaw County Clerk Larry Kestenbaum will begin issuing marriage licenses immediately for same-sex couples.

"I think that there is a tremendous interest and tremendous demand for people up to now who have not been allowed to legally marry in Michigan who very much want to," said Kestenbaum.

The American Family Association of Michigan, a strong supporter of the gay marriage ban, is hoping the judge keeps the law in place. Local 4 spoke to the group's president over the phone.

"If you redefine marriage once you can't rationally refuse to continue to redefine until it means nothing at all," said Gary Glenn, president.

For this couple, they're wondering how long they're going to have to keep pushing for equality.

"We're at the point that we just want an answer. We want to know where this going and if this is the beginning of the end of the fight," said DeBoer.

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