First Same-Sex Marriage Licenses Issued in Michigan

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-03_4986c70fe4.jpgiStockphoto/Thinkstock (LANSING, Mich.) -- A federal district court judge on Friday overturned Michigan's decade-long ban on same-sex marriage. A pair of Detroit-area nurses, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, had filed a lawsuit against the state because they could not jointly adopt their three children due to the ban. Rowse called the decision a "pretty historic and monumental day here in Michigan, and obviously in our lives."

"The guarantee of equal protection must prevail," Judge Bernard A. Friedman said in his decision, the New York Times reports.

While the state Attorney General William Schuette asked a higher court to freeze the ruling, some county clerks have issued marriage licenses to couples while a decision is pending. Ingham County Court Clerk Barb Byrum issued the state's first same-sex marriage license on Saturday.

"In Michigan, the attorney general interprets the law. He doesn't set the law," Byrum said, adding that she was not typically open on Saturdays but "decided to open because these couples have waited far too long to marry."

Late Saturday afternoon, a federal appeals court issued a stay until Wednesday while it determines whether the district court's judgement should stand.

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