Michigan same sex couples in legal limbo, await clarification on marriage rights

(WXYZ) - Same sex couples are in legal limbo in Michigan until at least Wednesday. That's when the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati will let the stay on those marriages expire or issue an extension. 

Dozens of same sex couples got married over the weekend after Detroit Federal District Judge Bernard Friedman ruled late Friday that the Michigan ban on same sex marriages was unconstitutional. 

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed the emergency appeal over the weekend. 

Schuette today would not say if the weekend marriages are legal. "The courts are going to have to sort that out," Schuette told reporters at an event where Schuette announced he is running for re-election. 

"He's being disingenuous is what he's doing" says Dana Nessel who represented April Deboer and Jayne Rowse in the case against Schuette. 

Nessel points out Schuette's case was criticized by Judge Friedman including calling one witness "unbelievable" and others as having a "fringe viewpoint." 

Schuette sidestepped the criticism saying "I'm a former judge so I understand the decisions judges make. I'm respectful of the decisions. There's a process wherein it will be appealed." 

Nessel responded to 7 Action News: "What I find to be most disappointing and most disturbing is the fact that the basis that the Attorney General used to process in this case is that gays and lesbians and same sex couples made bad parents." 

Schuette was asked why he is appealing and said, "The constitution is not like a buffet line at some restaurant where you can pick and choose which item you might wish."

Nessel says, "If the Attorney General is really being sincere, what he would say is he cannot proceed defending a state law which is clearly violative of the federal constitution."

Michael Smith and Frank Markus have been partners for 22 years and got married over the weekend. They tell 7 Action News they are in legal limbo over health care benefits, taxes and several other issues.

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