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Congratulations to Michigan!
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 03/22/14
Last updated on: 03/22/14
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The crowd cheers at Washtenaw County's first same-sex wedding.

Congratulations to Michigan, where over 300 same-sex couples received marriage licenses on March 22, 2014 before the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals suspended their issuance until at least Wednesday, March 26 as it considers a request for a stay of Judge Friedman's ruling of March 21, 2014 that invalidated the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Clerks in at least four Michigan counties opened their offices on Saturday, March 22, 2014 and waived Michigan's three-day waiting period, so that couples could access marriage licenses and execute them before the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on the state Attorney General's request for an emergency stay.

As David Badash reported in The New Civil Rights Movement, hundreds of people lined up for marriage licenses in at least four counties: Washtenaw County, Muskegon County, Oakland County, and Ingham County. Many couples were quickly married following receipt of their licenses.

MichiganEquality's website contains additional information, including addresses of the offices and the necessary documents needed to apply for the licenses. At least one member of the couple needs to be a resident of the county in order to receive a license to marry.

Before Judge Friedman's decision was announced, Attorney General Bill Schuette sent a letter to the clerks of all 83 counties in the state advising them not to issue any licenses to same-sex couples no matter what Judge Friedman ruled, citing his determination to appeal. But many of the state's counties indicated they would follow the court's ruling regardless of Schuette's direction.

There has been some speculation that Judge Friedman delayed the issuance of his ruling until after the clerks' offices were closed on Friday afternoon as a courtesy to Schuette to allow him to make his emergency motion for a stay. Whether that is true or not, the clerks who have opened their offices for extra hours today see their allegiance to the citizens of their counties rather than to the Attorney General.

According to the Detroit News, late Saturday afternoon, after at least 323 marriage licenses had been issued to same-sex couples, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals announced a temporary stay until Wednesday March 26, 2014 in order "To allow a more reasoned consideration of the motion to stay."

Below are videos posted by the Saline Reporter and Milan-Leader of Washtenaw County's first legal same-sex wedding.

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