- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
Appeal on gay marriage ruling dampens celebrations
Question of the Day
DETROIT (AP) - Bethany Joy Rozeboom and Mary Winn couldn’t have been much happier after receiving their long-awaited marriage license this weekend after a judge’s ruling that Michigan’s ban on such same-sex unions was illegal.
But the Grand Rapids couple and others across Michigan were still in a waiting game Monday to be recognized as legally married on state driver’s licenses, voter registration records, Social Security cards and other documents because the ruling has been put on hold while the state appeals.
Some couples were able to file applications for adoptions and federal tax documents, but fear the process may be hampered by the legal tussle, while similar efforts at state offices were thwarted.
“I feel like it’s been a constant yo-yo, even this whole weekend,” Rozeboom said after being denied an application Monday for a new driver’s license at a Michigan Secretary of State Office branch in Grand Rapids. “Walking out and having a legal marriage license that was signed by a clerk, we felt this is as official as it gets. This felt like we can be done now. But we can’t be done now. Now what?”
U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman struck down the state’s 2004 law banning same-sex marriages on Friday while deciding a 2012 lawsuit by Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer. The couple is raising three adopted children with special needs, but couldn’t jointly adopt each other’s children because that was tied exclusively to marriage in Michigan.
On Saturday morning, four county clerks began issuing marriage licenses before the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati issued an order reinstating Michigan’s ban. Rozeboom and Winn took advantage of the brief legal window and had their marriage officiated.
Devin Schindler, a professor at Thomas M. Cooley law school, said it’s the first time a state law banning gay marriage has landed at the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which takes cases from federal courts in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. The issue for the court this week is whether to indefinitely suspend Friedman’s decision while the entire case is appealed.
“If the stay is granted, I would read nothing into it,” Schindler said. “It would merely be the court saying we need more time to consider this important matter on the merits.”
Meanwhile, Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum and East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett on Monday urged the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages that were licensed Saturday as lawful and eligible for federal benefits. A Justice Department spokeswoman said officials were monitoring the case.
Employees at Secretary of State offices have been told not to accept applications to change names on driver’s licenses from members of same-sex couples due to the appeals court stay, said Fred Woodhams, a spokesman for the secretary of state.
“Certainly, we’ll comply with whatever the decision is and whatever the law is,” Woodhams said Monday. “Over the weekend, when (Friedman‘s) decision was in effect, people could have changed their names with a same-sex marriage license. Due to the stay, we fell back.”
Gov. Rick Snyder’s spokeswoman Sara Wurfel said it’s not “appropriate or prudent” to comment amid the legal proceedings.
“We await court or legal direction on this complex, unusual situation,” she said. “We’re sensitive to feelings on this issue and are hoping for a swift resolution for all involved.”
Art and Corey Ledin-Bristol traveled from Grand Rapids to neighboring Muskegon County to get their marriage license because the Kent County clerk did not issue any Saturday.
TWT Video Picks
By Ted Cruz
Israel saves its enemies; Hamas endangers its friends
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Army's 3-D printed bombs to create 'a whole new universe' of lethal capabilities
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- GOP leaders delay border bill, leave Obama in control
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Lois Lerner hated conservatives, new emails show
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- U.S. troops told not to eat, drink in front of Muslims during Ramadan
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world