Saturday, Oct 25, 2014
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 40 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website




 

 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 28 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 13
Michigan will not recognize 300 same-sex marriages, Governor says ACLU threatens lawsuit
Section One
ALL STORIES
  next story
Michigan will not recognize 300 same-sex marriages, Governor says ACLU threatens lawsuit

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said on March 26 that his state will not recognize more than 300 same-sex marriages performed since a federal district judge struck down the state's same-sex marriage ban.

The Governor's announcement came only a day after the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals imposed an indefinite stay on the March 21 ruling by U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman.

Friedman issued his decision without a stay to allow for an appeal to the Circuit Court, and marriage license offices in Ingham, Muskegon, Oakland, and Washtenaw counties began issuing valid licenses to same-sex couples on Saturday, March 22. More than 300 couples were married before the Sixth Circuit intervened.

Lisa Ulrey and Donna DeMarco were one of those couples.

'I'm shocked, but not surprised,' Ulrey said of Snyder's decision. 'Everyone was on such an emotional high on Saturday. We felt we were on top of the world. I guess we were naive in thinking the government would be on our side.'

'A stay of the district court's order is warranted,' the Sixth Circuit Court panel found in a 2-1 decision based on a similar same-sex marriage decision in Utah. Appellate Judge Helene White dissented, saying the Utah case did not provide clear guidance or sufficient reasons for a stay.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who requested the stay, said he was not surprised.

'As we anticipated, the Sixth Circuit recognized the similarities to the Utah case and granted our request for stay,' said his spokesperson Joy Yearout. 'We will now focus on preparing an appeal in defense of the constitution and the will of the people.'

Governor Snyder admitted the 300 marriages were valid, but said the stay returned the state's legal situation to what it had been before Judge Friedman's ruling.

'With respect to the marriages, we believe those are legal and valid marriages,' Snyder said. 'The stay being issued makes it more complicated. Because of the stay, we won't recognize the benefits of the marriage until there's a removal of the stay.... Hopefully we'll be able to provide some clarity, at least from our perspective, relatively soon.'

Dana Nessel, an attorney for two Detroit-area nurses who successfully challenged the same-sex marriage ban, said Snyder's position is 'really an outrage.'

'I think each one of those couples should be furious right now, and I'm very hopeful that those couples will petition the court on their own behalf,' Nessel said.

The ACLU said immediately after the Sixth Circuit's decision that it would file suit on behalf of the married couples, if the state decided not to recognize their marriages.

Meanwhile, East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett and Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asking that he declare the 300 Michigan marriages 'lawful and considered eligible for all relevant federal benefits.'

'They're fighting a losing battle,' Byrum said of the Governor and Attorney General.

The U.S. Justice Department, which intervened to recognize Utah marriages - at least for federal purposes - said it was watching the situation in Michigan.

'The department is closely monitoring the situation,' spokeswoman Allison Pierce said March 24.

Equality Michigan said in a March 24 press conference that 17,000 people had signed a petition asking Snyder and Schuette to drop their appeal of Friedman's ruling.

In his 31-page decision, Judge Friedman, a Ronald Reagan appointee, cited both USA v. Windsor and Loving v. Virginia - the case in which the U.S. Supreme court struck down laws against inter-racial marriage. Michigan law, he said, was unfair not only to same-sex couples, but also to children raised by them.

'No court record of this proceeding could ever fully convey the personal sacrifice of these two plaintiffs who seek to ensure that the state may no longer impair the rights of their children and the thousands of others now being raised by same-sex couples,' the judge wrote.

Friedman explained that Michigan law does not even pass rational basis review, the lowest standard of judicial scrutiny.

'Prohibiting gays and lesbians from marrying does not stop them from forming families and raising children. Nor does prohibiting same-sex marriage increase the number of heterosexual marriages or the number of children raised by heterosexual parents. There is, in short, no logical connection between banning same-sex marriage and providing children with an 'optimal environment' or achieving 'optimal outcomes,' he wrote.

All states within the jurisdiction of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals now have same-sex marriage cases pending in the appeals court, and attorneys for the Michigan plaintiffs asked the appeals court for an expedited review of the case.

The Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits have marriage cases pending as well. Both sides in the Michigan case said they expect the U.S. Supreme Court to issue the final ruling on marriage rights.

'Obviously, we would have loved to have the stay lifted and all same-sex couples be able to marry if they wish to do so,' the plaintiffs' attorney Dana Nessel said. 'I'm hopeful that this case will be resolved as quickly as possible ... I think it's pretty clear that our case or another case will end up before the Supreme Court sooner than later.'

'The final decision will be made by the U.S. Supreme Court,' Michigan Attorney General Schuette agreed. 'If the citizens of the state want to change the constitution, they can, that's their right. If the U.S. Supreme Court rules a different way, I will honor that.'

Oddly enough, for someone who argued in court that same-sex couples were necessarily ineffective parents, Schuette took an almost liberal tone when talking about family structure to reporters.

'Families come in all sorts of colors, shapes and sizes,' he said. 'I want to have loving parents. I know that single parents and gay parents love their kids. I'm cool with having parents who love their kids. Whether it's gay or straight, kids today need loving, attentive parents.'

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

George Takei will be Celebrity Grand Marshal at Seattle's 2014 Pride Parade
------------------------------
Christian charity World Vision caves to bigots, reverses policy on hiring married Gay employees
------------------------------
Patty Murray, Tammy Baldwin introduce college anti-bullying bill
------------------------------
Chavez experience warns us about illegal immigration With release of new C├ęsar Chavez film, former border patrol agent recalls his first meeting with famed labor organizer
------------------------------
Pass ENDA now, Biden says
------------------------------
Nathan Phelps remarks on his father's passing
------------------------------
Maryland passes Transgender protections Governor promises to sign
------------------------------
LGBT group takes leading role in Chile protests
------------------------------
Michigan will not recognize 300 same-sex marriages, Governor says ACLU threatens lawsuit
------------------------------
Obama beats Putin with LGBT stick
------------------------------
OPEN LETTER TO PORT OF SEATTLE AND BURKE MUSEUM - ANOTHER OUTRAGE!!
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
BREAKING NEWS
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1605 12 Ave., Ste. 31
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2013

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News