Gay Marriage: “The Sooner This Issue is Resolved, The Better,” Says AG

Posted at 7:50 PM, Mar 25, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-25 20:06:07-04

CINCINATTI, Ohio – (CNN) — A federal appeals court decided Tuesday to continue the stay of a judge’s ruling that struck down Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban, meaning that gay and lesbian couples cannot marry in the state while the appeals process unfolds.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman issued an order Friday that invalidated a state constitutional amendment restricting marriage to between one man and one woman because, in his view, it violated the U.S. Constitution.

His ruling set the stage for same-sex couples to marry immediately. And scores of them did Saturday until the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — after a request filed by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette — issued an order to temporarily stay, or put on hold, Friedman’s decision through at least Wednesday.

The same federal court decided to act even sooner than that with its decision Tuesday.

It cited an apparently unanimous Supreme Court order from January regarding a similar case in Utah. Utah had asked the high court to intervene last week after 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to stay a lower court ruling in December striking down Utah’s voter-approved prohibition of legal wedlock for gays and lesbians.

Two 6th Circuit appeals judges signed onto Tuesday’s decision, making it binding, while one — Judge Helene White — dissented. White said that while the Supreme Court did act regarding Utah, “it did so without a statement of reasons, and therefore the order provides little guidance.”

Voters in Utah, Michigan and nine other states passed constitutional amendments in 2004 defining marriage as one man and one woman.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette commented via twitter shortly after the ruling.

Schuette also spoke to FOX 17 News moments after the ruling came down.  The following video is an excerpt of the interview.