- Associated Press - Friday, June 26, 2015

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Latest from Michigan on the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage (all times local):


4:55 p.m.

April DeBoer said she and Jayne Rowse would like U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman to marry them, probably in late summer or early fall. His response: “Absolutely.”

Friedman is the judge who overturned Michigan’s ban on gay marriage, a 2014 decision that went to the Supreme Court. DeBoer and Rowse of Hazel Park filed the lawsuit.

“It seems very right to have him be the one to perform the ceremony,” DeBoer tells The Associated Press.

She said she and Rowse haven’t told their five children, including a foster child, about the big court ruling yet.

“They’re at super hero camp,” DeBoer said. “We’re waiting until we see them.”


3:45 p.m.

A judge who overturned Michigan’s ban on gay marriage says he’s willing to officiate at the marriage of two Detroit-area nurses at the center of the groundbreaking case.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman tells The Associated Press that he “absolutely” would marry Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer. They couldn’t be reached for comment, but spokesman Gary Smith says the women plan to talk to the judge Friday night.

Friedman struck down Michigan’s ban on gay marriage as unconstitutional. An appeals court reversed the decision, but the Supreme Court restored it Friday by legalizing same-sex marriage in all states.

Friedman was in his car when he got a call from another federal judge, Judith Levy, who is a lesbian.

Levy yelled, “We won!” Friedman says he cried.


1:50 p.m.

Dow Chemical Co. is applauding the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, saying there’s a business case to support the right to marry.

The chemical giant’s CFO Howard Ungerleider says in a statement that: “As a matter of equality and human rights, and also a critical business imperative that plays a fundamental role in attracting and retaining the best and brightest team, it is quite simply the right thing to do.”

For more than a decade, Midland, Michigan-based Dow has offered policies and practices for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender inclusion in the workplace. It says those include equal benefits to same-sex partners for health, dental and life insurance.


1:30 p.m.

The Wayne County clerk’s office is expected to hold mass marriage ceremonies each weekday throughout the month of July following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that same-sex couples have a right to marry.

Spokeswoman Jina Sawani says such ceremonies typically are held at 3 p.m. each Friday.

The extra days were added in anticipation of more same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses. Couples have to pay $10 to waive the required 3-day waiting period to obtain a license.

Sawani says it’s not known how many couples will show up at 3 p.m. Friday.

Clerk Cathy Garrett performed a $150 private ceremony earlier Friday for a same-sex couple.

A federal judge in Detroit last year said a 2004 state ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional.


12:15 p.m.

Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell says the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage is a victory for freedom, equality and love.

The ordained Protestant minister released a statement Friday shortly after the ruling was announced. Heartwell says he’s “celebrating this decision today knowing that my country truly keeps its promise of the pursuit of happiness, liberty and justice for all.”

The city in 1994 added “gender orientation” to a civil rights section of city code that deals with discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodation. The Grand Rapids Press says Heartwell supported that measure when he was a city commissioner.

Heartwell says the U.S. and Grand Rapids “are finally aligned in recognizing and securing advances towards nondiscrimination protections of all Americans.”


12:10 p.m.

Two Ingham County women, Lee Chaney and Dawn Chapel, were at a hair salon anticipating the U.S. Supreme Court decision that gave same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. When they got the news, they rushed to the courthouse and were married by Clerk Barb Byrum, who pledged to keep the doors open as long as necessary Friday.

In the Upper Peninsula, Marquette County Clerk Linda Talsma sent two women home to get a birth certificate. For $25, she’ll waive the typical three-day waiting period for a license.

“I’m not going to stay open any later. The doors close at 5 p.m.,” Talsma said.

In the Grand Rapids area, Clerk Mary Hollinrake said the three-day waiting period would likely apply unless a couple offered extraordinary circumstances.


11:45 a.m.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says he will “honor, respect and uphold” the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The Republican defended Michigan’s law all the way to the high court, but in a two-sentence statement Friday after the decision was announced he says he appreciates that a decision has finally been reached “on this very significant issue.”


11:30 a.m.

Democratic members of Michigan’s congressional delegation are offering reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage.

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters says: “No American should face discrimination simply because of who they love, and today’s ruling by the Supreme Court affirms that every American has the right to marry the person they love and raise a family without fear that they will one day be torn apart.”

Congressman John Conyers says the decision “affirms the essential role of the Constitution in protecting the right to make our most intimate decisions and upholds our human dignity.”

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell says: “Love is love. It’s not ours to judge.” She says she’s looking forward to attending the wedding of April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, who challenged Michigan’s same-sex marriage prohibition.

The couple say they have not set a date yet for their marriage.


11 a.m.

Michigan’s Roman Catholic bishops say the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage will have a ripple effect on the right to religious liberty.

The bishops say in a statement Friday that the ruling “sets the church’s teaching about marriage in opposition to the law and will create inestimable conflicts between the state and religious persons and institutions.”

They say the Catholic church will continue to teach that marriage “is and can only be the union of one man and one woman.” The bishops, which include Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron, say the decision marks a “profound legal turning point.”

The statement released by the Michigan Catholic Conference also is from bishops in Lansing, Kalamazoo, Saginaw, Marquette and Gaylord.


10:45 a.m.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says state agencies will make changes to ensure that the state fully complies with the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage.

The Republican notes that same-sex marriage has been a divisive issue. He says in a statement Friday that “it is important for everyone to respect the judicial process and the decision.”

Snyder says people should focus on their shared values. With the ruling, he says “Michiganders we should move forward positively, embracing our state’s diversity and striving to treat everyone with the respect and dignity they deserve.”


10:30 a.m.

Two nurses who challenged Michigan’s same-sex marriage prohibition are celebrating the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage.

April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse told reporters in Ann Arbor shortly after the ruling was released Friday that it’s a good day in history.

DeBoer and Rowse initially went to court to win the right to jointly adopt each other’s children, not to confront Michigan’s ban on gay marriage.

DeBoer and Rowse live in Hazel Park, Michigan, with four young adopted children and a foster child. Each woman has adopted two kids, but they couldn’t jointly adopt them because Michigan ties that to marriage.

They say their children will come to understand the importance of the Supreme Court’s ruling. And they say it’s a day for a lot of celebration.



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