State won't recognize same-sex marriages

Michigan won't recognize more than 300 same-sex marriages performed last weekend before a court halted a decision that opened the door to gay nuptials, Gov. Rick Snyder said Wednesday.
AP Wire
Mar 26, 2014

The announcement came a day after an appeals court indefinitely stopped any additional same-sex marriages. It will likely take months for the court to make its own judgment about whether a Michigan constitutional amendment that says marriage only is between a man and a woman violates the U.S. Constitution.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman struck down the gay marriage ban Friday.

Four counties took the extraordinary step of granting licenses Saturday before the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a temporary halt. The stay was extended indefinitely on Tuesday.

Snyder acknowledged same-sex couples "had a legal marriage." But because of the court's stay, he added, the gay marriage ban has been restored.

The governor's move closes the door, at least for now, to certain benefits reserved solely for married couples. The American Civil Liberties Union said more than 1,000 Michigan laws are tied to marriage.

"We did our own homework and I believe this is a reasonable legal position to take based on the available literature and law," Snyder told reporters.

Other elected officials have urged the Obama administration to recognize the marriages for federal benefits. The U.S. Justice Department, which previously said it was monitoring the situation, did not immediately comment after Snyder's announcement.

Dana Nessel, an attorney for two Detroit-area nurses who successfully challenged the gay marriage ban, said Snyder's position is "really an outrage."

"I think each one of those couples should be furious right now, and I'm very hopeful that those couples will petition the court on their own behalf," Nessel said.

Art Ledin-Bristol of Grand Rapids said Snyder's stance was "heart-wrenching." He said his employer is recognizing his weekend marriage and extending spousal benefits to Corey Ledin-Bristol.

"There are so many small, everyday things that come with marriage that people take for granted. Corey can't make medical decisions for our kids. He can't access school records," Art Ledin-Bristol said.

Snyder, a Republican who keeps mostly silent on social issues, had said very little since Friedman made his historic decision last week. Snyder said in a 2010 debate that he supported marriage as "between a man and a woman."

Another Republican, Attorney General Bill Schuette, has aggressively defended the gay marriage ban, which was approved by 59 percent of voters in 2004. He said it's his job to oppose challenges to the state constitution.

Snyder said he hasn't had a role in Schuette's legal strategy.

"The attorney general is a separate constitutional officer in our state, and he has the prerogative to make his decisions on that particular issue on his own," the governor said.

Lisa Ulrey and Donna DeMarco were married Saturday at the Oakland County clerk's office. Marriages were also performed in Ingham, Muskegon and Washtenaw counties.

"I'm shocked but not surprised," Ulrey said of Snyder's decision.

"Everyone was on such an emotional high on Saturday," she said. "We felt we were on top of the world. I guess we were naive in thinking the government would be on our side."

Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum, who officiated at the first Michigan same-sex marriage, said Schuette needs to drop the appeal.

"They're fighting a losing battle," she said of the governor and attorney general.



Thank you, Governor Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette for supporting the will of the people of this great State. Do not allow a movement more focused on manipulating a sacred institution of marriage between one man and one woman, for the real prize of "spousal benefits" for gays, lesbians, bi-sexual, and transgender entitlement demanders.


I remember growing up in the 50-60's. Nobody talked much about homosexuality, of course, but the issues of the day were inter-racial marriages, and yes - marriage outside of your religion or even your church. People quoted the scripture, sermons preached damnation from the pulpit, it was overwhelmingly rejected - people were black-listed, shunned, written out of the family will - you name it. The levels of hate, paranoia, fear, and utter rejection were terrible. It took the Supreme Court ruling of Loving v Virgina to put inter-racial marriage into the proper Constitutional perspective. Society took care of the rest. Although many of the old racist prejudices still exist, the intense stigma of an inter-racial marriage has eased, and certainly marriage outside of your religion is not nearly viewed as a deal-breaker as it used to be. These days it's same sex marriage. And again, slowly, as society comes to a better understanding of the issues, it will begin to be viewed through the eyes of equality under the law, and the stigma will recede, just as it has done with inter-racial marriages and marrying outside your religion. That doesn't mean that some people will never approve of it for religious or other reasons.

People will always unite, form families, possibly have children, some will split up. But the Constitution dictates that whatever the State decides to do, it must be done on a basis of equality. Government can not exclude any group of citizens from civil benefits without a compelling public interest. And in this case, there has yet been no case presented for compelling public interest that would deny individuals civil rights under the Constitutional Rule of Law.

Tri-cities realist

So after we legalize SSM, what will be next? Or will this be the end of the road for the progressives?


It took about 100 years after the founding of this country to grant blacks citizenship status and the right to vote, then about another 60 years to give women the right to vote; about 60 years later the states ban on interracial marriage was stuck down, and marriages of people of different races were legally recognized and allowed. Then there was the epic struggle to end discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. Public sentiment is growing towards allowing unions between same gender people to be legally recognized. I guess we'll have to wait another 60-100 years for the next big brouhaha.

Although Republicans are aggressively attacking women's rights, wanting to take us back 60 years. And then there is the push to circumvent the Constitution and instead rule the country based on biblical law.

Always something.


I went to Subway today to get my favorite sandwich. The guy in front of me ordered a different sub. I was angry because he didn't get the same sub as me,even though it didn't affect me in any way. THIS IS WHAT PEOPLE SOUND LIKE WHEN THEY SAY GAY MARRIAGE AFFECTS THEM!

Barry Soetoro

Brilliant analogy.


Here's another more forward thinking version of the story...

The guy in front of me ordered a meat only sandwich (no veggies, no bread). I got angry because the pimple face teenager behind the counter (who happened to be my neighbor's kid) spent a little too much time chatting with this guy about his order. The teenager said a lot of people have been ordering meat only sandwiches recently and that he had to take a special class on how to handle and wrap the meat properly (because meat-only is messy and tends to fall apart)…and also how to keep smiling even when someone makes a strange order. He said the owner was annoyed because the classes and extra wrapping were costing him more money and Subway wouldn't let him raise the price of the sandwiches. The guy in front of me thought that was ridiculous. “It’s only a piece of paper. How much extra could that cost? You’ll probably sell more sandwiches anyway.” Then the “keep smiling/strange order” comment hit him and he got a little huffy. “What difference does it make what I order anyway? I’m the one eating it…not them!” The teenager laughed and said “Yeah I was arguing with my dad about the whole food pyramid thing…and why all the stuff that tastes good…like candy, cookies and potato chips are at the top instead of the bottom. It just isn’t fair!” My dad just said that was the way God made us and He knew what he was doing when He--- So the guy interrupts the teenager and says “Screw that! That’s a fairytale. Eat whatever you want. It’s a free country.” My eye rolling and fidgeting must have caught the kid’s eye because he quickened his pace a bit. As he handed the guy his change he laughs “I've never had a meat only, but it sounds good. I’ll have to give it a try.”

It turns out the guy in front wanted to be the new “Jared,’ but there actually is something to this food pyramid thing and a meat only diet lacks essential nutrients.... and over the long-term causes malnutrition… and all the maladies that go with it. He got really sick couldn’t work and had to go on welfare. So in the end it did effect us all.


This comparison is like comparing an apple to a shoe. The breakdown of marriage also breaks down society. It's a moral deterioration. You may not see too many immediate affects. Why don't we marry our first cousin, our pet dog or our tree in the front yard...sounds crazy? So did Gay marriage several years ago. No I don't hate Gay people. I love them like a brother and sister in Christ. Just don't break down what God has put in place for us. If marriage is the only why to get benefits for a Gay couple, change the laws so that marriage isn't a requirement. There are options.


Your dog does not carry the same rights as you!
What you are doing by not allowing same sex marriage, is denying a legal right to another human being. This is a violation of our constitutional law!

Your religion and your beliefs have nothing to do with this.
Your God has no place in governing this great country.

Matthew 6
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."


I guess don't go to a restaurant that serves only Chinese food and then demand KC style ribs because you should have the right to go anywhere and get what you want because its constitutional right.
The people of Michigan voted (exercising their constitutional right) and their vote was upheld, I felt let them have a state recognized marriage, it does not change Gods law or have any effect on spirit filled churches, sin is still sin even when the state condones the behavior.
My only contention was in order to make their case the driving forces felt they must convince the masses it’s ok and normal to be gay and it is not; it is sin according to the Bible and like other sins it must be rejected however, we must remember we are all sinners too and are existing only by Grace.


The 13th amendment was added to the constitution to abolish slavery.
This HAD to happen, as many states refused to give up the right to own another person. Those states exercised their constitutional rights, and they were wrong.

In the case of gay marriage, it is in fact illegal to prevent one person from marrying another. It violates the constitution. You can not afford rights to a select group of individuals and not provide those same rights to another group of people.

A person is a person regardless of religion, creed, belief or gender.

Tri-cities realist

Does a man have the "right" to go in the women's restroom? And I'm not talking about TG here, just your biological man and woman.






Whatareyoutalking...You couldn't be further from the truth. In God We Trust, One Nation under God, Endowed by our Creator. You cannot appreciate our Country's greatness if you're universally ignorant to the history of its founding.

The pillar and brilliance of our Founding Father's wisdom, fairness, intellect, and profound foresight was predicated on Judaea Christian values. You're free not to accept these values, as this is what makes America so great, but I will not stand here and watch you tear it down.


There is exactly one reference in the entire Constitution -- and all 27 amendments -- to a god, creator, deity, lord, or whatever, and that's in the date it was signed "In the Year of Our Lord...." The Constitution is an explicitly secular document, rejecting religious tests for public office. Moreover, the Founders of the country also explicitly stated, in the Treaty of Tripoli, "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." That treaty was negotiated under George Washington, signed by John Adams, and ratified unanimously by the Senate.

Yes, there are Judeo-Christian underpinnings in some of our laws, but this is, by law, not a Christian country. Your attempt to force everyone to live by your religious values is the true offense here.


In God We Trust and One Nation Under God are much newer than our Constitution.


DougMacDonell, I went to that same Subway yesterday, as well. In my case, I ordered the same sub as the guy in front of me, but the employee dropped mine on the floor with all the meat & toppings scattered about. I requested a new sandwhich because mine was now abnormal, disgusting, and repulsive.

The manager refused to provide me a new one because it was the same sub like everyone one else ordered. I was told to simply deal with it because it is not going to kill me and that clearly, I must be a racsub if I rejected his demands he was trying to ram down my throat.

He went on to arrogantly scream to me that I must be inclusive and tolerant of all subs even if they are just a little bit different than mine. THIS IS WHAT YOU SOUND LIKE WHEN YOU FORCE GAY MARRIAGE ON THE REST OF US!


I hope your kids turn out to be gayer than Elton John's fannypack.

When you meet your maker you are going to be in for quite a surprise my friend. Have fun burning for eternity.

Barry Soetoro

"The great thing about this country is you will always have a voice. I just don't understand why you feel the need to judge others."

Tri-cities realist

Hmm I wonder who said that first...


So you have a ruined marriage, and it was ruined because of gay marriage? Or did someone force YOU to get gay married? I'm not following.


This marriage thing will not stand. Regardless of how you feel about it, the minority are always the loud ones. Ultimately, it's a social issue that I think most of us could care less about. It certainly doesn't sway how I vote. My only question, and this is an honest one, how will this pertain to children? Our PC society doesn't let kids keep score at games until a certain age, we give trophies to everyone, etc. just because we don't want the kids to feel bad. These are things the kids feel bad about in the moment and get over once they move onto a new thing. How do we explain to those same people that they don't have a mommy or daddy? I could go on, but I'm asking for honest opinions on how to handle that. I just suspect this is more damaging to children than losing a soccer game.


Gay couples exist. Gay couples have children. Gay couples live, eat, and breath just as you do.

Unless you take all of the gay folks in the US, and kill, or remove them, you will have to have "these" conversations with your children.

If you want to do any of the above, then you have other issues you need to deal with. If you don't. If you think people should be able to live and be free, free to love whom they wish, free to contribute to society, free to be who they are, then you explain it to your child what it means to be a person, and why living in the United States offers them the freedom to be the person they want to be.


It's not my children I worry about. It's the children of the gay parents. How are they going to deal with the "Father/Daughter dance" or who's going to take them to the locker room to change? There are many things in society that are built around two gender parents. This will have an affect on the kids. It's extremely selfish to bring kids into that.


What about the children born into a relationship with a blind parent.
Or children born into a relationship where parents are of a different race. Or how about children born into a relationship where one of the parents has suffered a horrible accident that prevents them from participating in the examples you've provided?

The stigmas you place on others, should not be supported those family's. Those families learn to adapt to the stupidity of others. They do not label one another, they show love, compassion and understanding, and unlike some religious groups, they show acceptance, and allow others to live they way they wish to live.


All of that stuff is beyond control. You are as closed minded about this as I am. I am not a religious man, but I do understand why religious people don't show acceptance. Just as you don't.


Hold on a sec. You're choosing to accept or not accept is on you.
You can be as mad about something as you want. You can disagree with something as much as you want. It's your right as a human being. But you're beliefs on allowing people to marry, impacting the lives of others, is a violation of their rights as human beings. (at least human beings that reside in the United States)

We are not talking about believing it's ok to murder someone, or stealing from one another. Those laws apply to all human beings. You are talking about excluding people from rights afforded to others.

That is wrong!


Now we have had a little lesson here. I simply asked a question. You chose to judge my question as negative. You chose to judge my response as negative. You have no idea what my stance is. I'm not sure where murder or stealing came in. As I previously said, you have a closed mind. I will protect the well-being of children far more than the rights of fully competent adults.


Your interpretation of our conversation leads me to question your intent, and or grasp of the subject matter. You appear to be trolling for responses so you can claim victim of attacks that are not coming.

As for the well-being of the children, I think they will be just fine without your protection.


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