A federal judge ruled against Michigan's same-sex marriage ban on Friday. This makes Michigan the latest state to see its ban struck down in a federal court, following the Supreme Court's 2013 decision against portions of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Four Episcopal bishops in Michigan release statement: "We applaud Judge Friedman's decision to overturn Michigan's ban on equal marriage"— Niraj Warikoo (@nwarikoo) March 21, 2014
Although it was widely expected that today's decision (should it strike down the state law) would contain a stay preventing its enforcement until the appeals process is complete, there was no indication of a stay on Friday's ruling. Shortly after U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman issued his decision, Michigan's Attorney General Bill Schuette issued an emergency request for a stay. In other words, it's not clear right now whether gay couples in the state may marry immediately, and if so, for how long. Since the ruling was issued shortly after 5 p.m. on a Friday, county clerk offices in the state are already closed, and will probably remain closed until Monday. At least one county clerk has said she is prepared to issue licenses Monday morning if a stay is not issued by then.
Update 10:30 p.m.: the Washtenaw County Clerk’s Office announced late on Friday that it would issue 60 same-sex marriage licenses starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, unless there's a stay before then. County clerk Lawrence Kestenbaum said that his office will waive a three-day waiting period and fee for those couples applying tomorrow.