Appeals Court Stays Order Allowing Gay MarriagesBy: Jennifer Curra - March 22, 2014
A temporary stay has been issued by the U.S. Appeals Court for the Sixth Circuit concerning gay marriages. According to a court order released Saturday afternoon, “To allow a more reasoned consideration of the motion to stay, it is ordered that the district court’s judgment is temporarily stayed until Wednesday.” The order was issued in response to Attorney General Bill Schuette’s request for an emergency stay.
According to Harbor Unitarian Universalist Congregation Pastor Bill Freeman, “We’re trying to beat Bill Schuette to the punch. We want to get these weddings done while they’re legal,” he said.
Forty-two-year-old April DeBoer and 49-year-old Jayne Rowse, who are at the center of a gay marriage adoption case, did not marry today; however, both intend to marry once the adoption case has been settled. “We will be getting married when we know that our marriage is forever binding,” DeBoer shared.
The couple are attempting to raise three special needs children. Since Michigan laws reserve joint adoption rights to heterosexual couples, DeBoer and Rowse filed a lawsuit in 2012.
“I think most everybody kind of expected a stay in the first place. For all the people who had a chance to get out and get married, it’s a wonderful thing. We’re still thrilled it was ruled unconstitutional. The AG’s office has said all along they were going to appeal it. We’re going to follow through until it’s done, everyone in the state of Michigan can get married,” DeBoer said.
Dana Nessel, who is the co-counsel for DeBoer and Rowse, discussed her concern that only a minority of Michigan counties made concessions to allow for marriage ceremonies on Saturday. “People are going to have to wait now. Unfortunately, every minute a couple waits to get married and adopt their children is another day that the family is left vulnerable. It’s disappointing in that we have 83 counties in Michigan, and only four of them made special attempts to allow people to marry Saturday. But it doesn’t change the ruling by Judge Freidman, and we’re optimistic about the outcome.”
On Saturday, four Michigan counties issued licenses totaling 323 before the clerks offices closed. According to the county clerk for the Lansing area, Barb Byrum, “People have been waiting way too long already. It just made me sick that they would be waiting until Monday.”
Resident Christine Weick does not feel the same as Byrum. “This is where the Christians at some point will look back and say we should have taken a stand. We’ve become complacent with God’s word. As we allow this sin to continue, it will creep into the church,” Weick said.
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