Local Same-Sex Couple Expected Stay Married Anyway

Posted at 9:12 PM, Mar 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-27 05:06:58-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. (March 26, 2014) — Gov. Snyder is weighing in on the gay marriage debate as the issue makes its way through the appeals process.

Snyder says hundreds of same-sex couples who tied the knot before a stay was issued on last Friday’s ruling are legally married, but the benefits that come with the matrimony won’t come for now.

That stay on Judge Friedman’s ruling was upheld in a 2-to-1 vote by the appeals court Tuesday.

It could be months before either the appeals court or the U.S. Supreme Court makes another ruling on the issue.

The governor’s decision comes as no surprise to couples who were married last weekend or to the county clerks who married them.

“I guess it doesn’t really mean that much to me if the government recognizes it or not,” Jere Clausen said.

He and husband Bruce Walters were the first same-sex couple married in Muskegon. They were married mere hours before the appeals court put a stay on same-sex marriages.

Now, just days into their marriage, the union is no longer officially recognized by the state.

“Yes, it’s a bump in the road, but it’s not unexpected,” Clausen said.. “Both my partner and I expect this.”

Muskegon County Clerk Nancy Waters made the couple’s marriage by working on Saturday.

She was disappointed by the governor’s decision not to recognize those marriages.

“Ihe individual couples that we were able to give a marriage license to and who got married are all the same rules and laws that we are required to have them follow.” Waters said.

Now, the couple waits in limbo until the appeal process plays out, a process that could take months, even years.