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Michigan Judge Strikes Down Gay Marriage Ban

Submitted by on March 22, 2014 – 9:19 amOne Comment
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Late on Friday, a judge in Michigan struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, saying it violated equal protection under the law. Couples were reportedly lining up at county clerks offices early on Saturday to apply for marriage licenses, as the decision went into effect immediately.

US District Judge Bernard Friedman issued the ruling on Friday at 5pm, after most clerk offices had closed for the week. He found that the law cannot allow Michigan residents’ religious views to “strip other citizens of the guarantees of equal protection under the law.” Friedman also refused to put a hold on same-sex marriages while the state appeals the decision.

The lawsuit was brought by April DeBoer, 42, and Jayne Rowse, 49, against a 2004 ban that was approved by 59% of voters in the state. DeBoer and Rowse are both nurses, and are raising three adopted special needs children together.

The state argued that the decision of the people must be upheld. But more recent polling has shown large majorities in Michigan supporting same-sex marriage, reflecting a major shift in public opinion across the country in the last decade.

By Saturday morning, the AP reported that at least three of Michigan’s 83 counties had announced they would convene special hours on Saturday to accommodate same sex couples seeking marriage licenses. The first was issued in central Ingham County.

 

 

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