WASHTENAW (WWJ) – Hundreds of people waited in line at the Washtenaw County Clerks office to obtain a long-awaited marriage license and then get hitched!
One of the newly married, Elizabeth Patten told WWJ that this is a rare time in her life.
“This is only going to happen once in a lifetime … so we are very honored and privileged to be a part of it,” said Patten.
Patten said she and her wife Jonnie Terry were thrilled to be able to exchange vows on the first day marriage licenses were issued in Michigan to same-sex couples.
Reverend Ted Van Roekel said he has been waiting a long time to be able to preside over a same-sex wedding.
“This has been my dream since I was an ordained minister, and I’ve been doing non-traditional weddings the entire time whether it’s something like a Klingon wedding or today, finally, finally we can get everybody married,” said Rev. Roekel.
In Oakland County, Betty Dollison and her partner of 25 years also got married.
“I actually got married, there’s the document,” she said. “Very excited, very excited and she just said that if they overturn it – it doesn’t matter because we have this. I hope that’s true, I’m not sure.”
And how will she and her partner Ingrid celebrate after 25 years together?
“I’m going to have breakfast and then go to bed because we couldn’t sleep all night long because we were excited. We are old, we’ve been doing this a long time,” she laughed.
Dollison says, if there’s a stay, they’ll continue to fight.
U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman made the ruling in Detroit federal court after a rare two-week trial that mostly focused on the impact of same-sex parenting on children.
Friedman declared that the same-sex marriage ban violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. [READ RULING]
County clerks have said they’ll be ready, almost immediately, to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples should the law change but the decision came shortly after 5 p.m., when most of the county clerk offices in Michigan were closed.
Attorney General Bill Schuette said he was immediately filing a request with a federal appeals court to suspend Friedman’s decision and prevent same-sex couples from immediately marrying
Michigan’s gay marriage ban was passed by voters in 2004.