GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (March 25, 2014) – No matter the opinion on the same-sex marriage debate, most want one thing in common; a clear cut answer. And both sides are looking for one as soon as possible.
In a matter of days, one ruling has changed the lives of hundreds and left thousands of others waiting for answers.
Michigan’s Attorney General Bill Shuette said, “The sooner this issue is resolved, I think the better.”
The attorney general said he is simply doing his job, “It’s not like a buffet line in a cafeteria,” he said. “Constitutions, you have to defend them all. I took an oath and this is what I do.”
So now Michigan is in the middle of the legal process. A process Cooley Law Professor, Curt Benson, said is rather routine.
“This is really super common, this literally happens everyday,” he said. “Normally it’s not so controversial because it doesn’t involve the entire public.”
Everyone has a right to an appeal, that includes the State of Michigan. So that is exactly what the attorney general asked for. Schuette asked a higher court to hold-off on recognizing last Friday’s District Court decision to strike down the gay marriage ban until an appeal could be heard.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals 6th District agreed and upheld the stay.
That took place after more than 300 gay couples tied the knot in Michigan over the weekend. So what happens to those couples now?
Schuette said, “I’m going to let the courts sort it out.”
According to professor Benson, the State no longer recognizes those marriages during the stay, but the federal government does recognize those marriages.
The likely scenario now, according to legal experts, is the matter will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Probably not until the Summer of 2015,” said Benson. “But that is like lightning speed when you are dealing with the federal judiciary.”
Schuette said, “Whatever the Supreme Court rules, that will be the law of the land and I will uphold that constitution.”
Whatever the Supreme Court rules, it will not only affect Michigan, it will define marriage across the nation.