Judge Hears Arguments Over Recognizing 300 Same-Sex Marriages In Michigan

Aug 21, 2014

About 300 same-sex couples in Michigan hope a federal judge will force the state to recognize their marriages. Judge Mark Goldsmith heard arguments in the case Thursday.

Lead plaintiffs Glenna DeJong (l) and Marsha Caspar (center) join Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum (r) outside the federal court building in Detroit on Thursday. DeJong and Caspar were the first same-sex couple to get married in Michigan. Byrum officiated their wedding.
Credit mprn Jake Neher

The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports.

The couples got married on a single day in March after another federal judge struck down Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional. But that ruling is now on hold while it’s being appealed. The state is asking Judge Goldsmith to delay his decision until that appeals process plays out.

Julian Mortenson is an attorney for the same-sex couples. He says there’s no reason legally married couples should have to wait to be recognized.

“There’s no time to wait,” she says.  “We need relief now, and we did our best to convey that to the judge today in the courtroom.”

Judge Goldsmith said he’ll rule soon on whether the marriages should be recognized.

A spokesperson for the state attorney general’s office declined to comment.