Ingham County Clerk issues marriage licenses following same-sex marriage ruling, appeals court issues stay

Following U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman's ruling on Friday that declared Michigan's gay marriage ban unconstitutional, Ingham County Courthouse in Mason opened its doors to a line of same-sex couples on Saturday morning, issuing each pair their marriage license. 

But a temporary stay filed by Attorney General Bill Schuette was granted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, meaning Friedman's ruling won't go into effect until after the state appeals the decision.

Attorney General Director of Communications Joy Yearout said the temporary stay will continue through Wednesday. 

"We anticipate that the 6th Circuit will issue a permanent stay, just as courts have ruled in similar cases across the country," Yearout said in an email. 

Before the stay was issued, Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum issued more than 60 marriage licenses and performed 30 ceremonies between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. 

Byrum said the courthouse was filled with families helping one another. 

“People were wonderful, watching each other's kids, (serving) as each other's witnesses, (there was) a lot of working together and a lot of love in this building,” Byrum said. 

Byrum decided to open up the courthouse after Attorney General Bill Schuette requested the stay on the ruling. 

“I think it’s about time that loving couples are able to marry in our great state, and I’m very thankful that that is the case right now,” Byrum said. “Some people got married so that’s what matters to me." 

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