Michigan same-sex marriage ban overturned, but not for long

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PONTIAC, Mich. - We were "excited, nervous, just like everyone else would feel," said Kim Hettinger and MaryAnn Northcote of Waterford.

Who could blame them? Although they had a church wedding 33 years ago, they had just picked up their marriage license at the county clerk's office here and were about to be "really married." Northcote said their pastor observed, "We're putting the icing on the cake."

Their "real marriage" came after Friday's ruling in Detroit by U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman striking down Michigan's ban on same-sex marriages. In his groundbreaking ruling Friedman said the ban was unconstitutional. The views of those opposing same-sex marriage cannot "strip other citizens of the guarantees of equal protection under the law," the judge said.

At the Oakland County Clerk's Office, hundreds rushed to get marriage licenses.

"We've been here since 10:30 and the line has been long the whole time," said Northcote.

Hettinger and Northcote acted quickly because they feared the stay requested by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette might be granted.

Those fears were confirmed later Saturday when the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati temporarily suspended marriages among Michigan's gay couples until at least Wednesday.

Zack and Greg of Lathrup Village, who have been partners for 13 years, also came to pick up their license at the Oakland County office.

Zack called it a "historic date." Reflecting on Michigan's natural beauty, he noted that "We all live in a state that we love. It's important that these types of things that stop others from seeing and enjoying the beauty of the state can now be overlooked. It's a step in our history that's passed and now we can get on and enjoy the rest of it."

Expressing what many others were thinking Greg said, "I can't believe the day is finally here. I kept saying that the whole ride here."

Now, the hundreds of couples married that day are wondering if their marriages will be declared illegal by the Republican-controlled state government.

Photo: Greg and Zack await their license at the Oakland County Clerk's Office on Friday. John Rummel/PW

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  • Whenever I see news from Michigan, I stop and read. I am so far from Michigan right now, but it is sweet to know that progress is continuing there, despite multiple attempts to thwart the will of the people! Keep pushing and one day we'll break through!

    Posted by Brandon O'Neil, 04/08/2014 2:48pm (4 months ago)

  • Join my petition on gay marriage
    For marriage equality
    Send a strong stand to the state of Michigan government
    Thank you
    Communist party USA Michigan
    Steven white
    Credo mobilize . com

    Posted by steven white, 03/25/2014 5:42pm (4 months ago)

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