16 thoughts on “Federal Judge Strikes Down Michigan SSM Ban

  1. Whats somewhat interesting about this particular case is that the judge used the rhetoric of protecting the children in order to legalize same-sex marriage, borrowing from Justice Kennedy.

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    • I noticed that, too. It’s an interesting inversion of the SSM opponents’ arguments, and as much as I generally dislike “but the children!” arguments, in this case I think the facts clearly support it. Every child is more protected if they have two legal parents than just one, and the potential for a child to be taken away from a parent with whom it’s been for years and put into foster care, with no recourse by that parent, because of the death of the only legally recognized parent, should make everyone uneasy.

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  2. Update: The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the District Court’s ruling until an appeal by the State can be heard. But before that could occur, some County Clerks took the unusual step of opening their offices on the weekend to issue marriage licenses, and dozens of couples (at least close to 100, it appears) got married.

    The stay is not much cause to worry, as stays of orders are not uncommon and have almost nothing to do with the substantive issues, but is just a procedural move to prevent the winning side from placing too much reliance on a ruling until it can be reviewed. Given the Supreme Court’s language in the Windsor ruling, and the unanimity among Federal District Courts in a growing number of states, it’s hard to imagine the final conclusion won’t be in favor of marriage equality.

    But the existence of SSM marriages in Michigan does complicate matters for the state. The linked article asks whether the marriages will count, but state-reversal of a marriage that was legal when it was performed is a vastly tricky question, I think, and the existence of legal same-sex marriages alongside a ban on other same-sex marriages raises real questions of fairness and equality. That’s the issue California had for a while, and while (if my memory serves) no legal ruling ever turned on that issue, it was legally contentious there, and could be in Michigan as well.

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      • I doubt it. The majority has shifted in favor of SSM and I don’t think Rick Snyder actually cares about the issue. He’s going to go through some pro forma legal process, but his spokesman was careful to say their actions were about their duty to defend a law passed by the voters and that if the courts determine its unconstitutional they’ll abide by the ruling. All very dry, and not a drop of anti-gay rhetoric.

        Snyder’s heavily disdained by most of my liberal friends, but I honestly think they should be very happy that given the inevitability of a Republican winning the governor’s seat last election, they got one like him rather than either of the two SocCons he beat in the primary.

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