Not so fast: Appeals court stays same-sex marriages in Michigan

Not so fast: Appeals court stays same-sex marriages in Michigan

MASON, Mich.—A federal appeals court issued an order Saturday preventing more same-sex couples from getting married in Michigan for at least several more days.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati said it issued the stay because it needed more time to consider the state’s appeal of a judge’s ruling Friday overturning Michigan’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The court said its stay would last until at least Wednesday.

Earlier Saturday, dozens of same-sex couples in at least four Michigan counties wasted no time in getting hitched, uncertain of how the appeals court would act.

On Friday, federal Judge Bernard Friedman overturned Michigan’s gay marriage ban, the latest in a series of decisions overturning similar laws across the country.

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia issue licenses for same-sex marriage. Since December, bans on gay marriage have been overturned in Texas, Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia, but appeals have put those cases on hold.

The case in Michigan involves two Detroit-area nurses, Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer. They want to get married, but the original purpose of their 2012 lawsuit was to overturn Michigan’s ban on joint adoptions by same-sex couples.

They are raising three adopted children with special needs at their Hazel Park home. But they can’t jointly adopt each other’s kids because joint adoption in the state is tied exclusively to marriage.

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