DeBoer, Rowse ask court to allow Michigan gay marriages to resume

Couple at center of challenge to Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage say state's stay on ruling did not follow proper procedure

DETROIT - Attorneys for two Hazel Park women at the center of the case against Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage say the state did not follow the proper procedure of asking the trial judge for a stay first before the court.

They are asking a higher court to allow same-sex marriages to resume in Michigan while the case is appealed by the state attorney general.

Complete coverage: Fight over Michigan's gay marriage ban

After a two-week trial, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman ruled Friday that a 2004 voter-approved amendment to the Michigan Constitution that limited marriage to opposite-sex couples violated the U.S. Constitution's right of equal protection. Attorney General Bill Schuette quickly filed for an emergency stay pending an appeal in the case.

View/download: DeBoer, Rowse response to stay

On Tuesday, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, along with their attorneys, filed a response to the court of appeals stay on their case. They say a suspension of Friedman's decision is inappropriate because the state of Michigan is unlikely to win an appeal in the long run. They also are requesting an expedited appeal.

View/download: DeBoer, Rowse request for expedited appeal

It's not clear when a ruling could come down but it is possible we could get one as early as Tuesday night.

On Saturday morning, clerks in four Michigan counties opened up to issue marriage licenses and perform marriages. However, just before 5 p.m. Saturday the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay, temporarily suspending same-sex marriages until at least Wednesday.

AG Schuette responds

The attorney general has filed a rebuttal to DeBoer and Rowse's claim that the state's appeal filing was not proper. In his rebuttal, Schuette says "state defendants made an oral motion for a stay during closing argument, in case the district court were to decide to strike down Michigan's Marriage Amendment."

"The district judge did not require the state to convert its oral motion into a formal filing or say anything to suggest that the oral motion was insufficient," the rebuttal reads.

View/download: Schuette's rebuttal

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