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Appeals Court Extends Freeze On Gay Marriage In Michigan

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DETROIT (WWJ) – An appeals court has followed suit with five other courts across the country by putting an indefinite stay on same-sex marriages in the state.

“The Court of Appeals did stay Judge Friedman’s decision until the entire court rules on the merits of same-sex marriage issue.

“Bottom-line here is that the court of appeals now has stayed Judge Friedman’s decision,” said WWJ’s Legal Analyst Charlie Langton. “Same-sex couples, now, can not get married, they can’t apply for any benefits until the full court gives its decision and we do not know when that will be.”

The decision was not unanimous, but for now, same-sex couples cannot apply for marriage licenses in Michigan.

Langton says there were two interesting points:

“First that the court ruled similarly to how five other judges ruled in this area. So in other words, five judges across the country ruled that same-sex marriage should be allowed to exist but all of those cases were stayed until probably the Supreme Court will give a final opinion. Also on this case, it was a 2-1 decision, it was not unanimous.”

Directly affected by the court ruling today is Laura Quinn of Royal Oak. She married her partner of 18-years at the Oakland County courthouse over the weekend. She says she’s hoping for a quick appeal.

“I’m hoping that they are going to put this through fairly quickly, quickly meaning six weeks,” Quinn said. “I’d like the court of appeals or whomever to remember that people’s lives are hanging in the balance here.”

Quinn says despite the fight, gay marriage in Michigan will be allowed inevitably.

In a court filing Tuesday, attorneys for Detroit-area nurses Jayne Rowse and her partner April DeBoer say the appeals court shouldn’t yet intervene in the case because Attorney General Bill Schuette filed his stay request in the wrong court.

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