PONTIAC (WWJ) — More than a year and a half ago, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman ruled that Michigan’s gay-marriage ban was unconstitutional.

Friedman said that he had tears in his eyes when he found out that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality on Friday and he couldn’t be happier with the decision.

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“I think the bottom line is that our Constitution says equal protection for everybody,” Friedman said live on WWJ Newsradio 950 on Friday. “I have often said that there is no ambiguity in those words.”

 

The high court’s decision comes 15 months after Friedman ruled the state’s gay-marriage ban was unconstitutional.

The couple at the center of the case, April Deboer and Jayne Rowse, say they would like Friedman to marry them later this summer or in the fall. His response: “Absolutely.”

Meantime, same-sex couples throughout the nation wasted no time taking advantage of the ruling. Friday was a busy day at the Oakland County clerk’s office, where 13 local couples were married.

Cindy Saul and Kimberly Seer of Southfield got their marriage licence and wanted to make their union as soon as possible after being together for 11 years. They asked Oakland County clerk Lisa Brown to officiate their wedding just a few hours after the decision.

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Cindy Saul and Kimberly Seer of Southfield as they were being married at the Oakland County clerk's office. (Photo: Stephanie Davis/WWJ)

Cindy Saul and Kimberly Seer of Southfield as they were being married at the Oakland County clerk’s office. (Photo: Stephanie Davis/WWJ)

The clerk’s office officiated 13 weddings on Friday and issued 18 marriage licences.

Some in Ann Arbor celebrated the ruling with an impromptu wedding, like Chris Berghuis and his longtime partner Derrick Davis.

Berghuis said that they were already married in international waters, but he wanted the legal security.

“My company allows the insurance, which is great.” Berghuis said. “But the legal system was taxing me on the company’s contributions. So it’s just always weird to feel like you have to be something different just because of some legal reason when the company recognizes it, we recognize it.

“Then you have things like we have to fill out paperwork differently than other people,” Berghuis said. “It just feels kind of odd, and degrading.”

[WWJ’s Afternoon Team of Greg Bowman and Jayne Bower hosted a special WWJ Newsradio 950 recap of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States]

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