Sixth Circuit Court Asked to Lift Stay on Michigan Gay Marriages, Expedite Appeal


Lawyers for April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, filed paperwork on Tuesday asking the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to lift a temporary stay placed on U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman's ruling striking down Michigan's ban on gay marriage, Equality on Trial reports:

The state filed the request for a stay in the wrong court, the couple argues. The state went directly to the Sixth Circuit instead of first asking the district court judge who presided over the challenge to stay his own decision. They argue that “[t]here has been no showing whatever that Judge Friedman would not have been in a position to consider such a motion promptly and no showing whatever that he would not have, in fact, promptly considered such a motion; to the contrary, there is every reason to believe that Judge Friedman would have promptly considered” a motion filed by state officials.

MichiganThe state is seeking a longer term hold, but that would harm same-sex couples, the lawyers argue.

MLive adds:

"Permitting loving same-sex couples to marry pending the outcome of this appeal will not harm the state in any way; permitting the children of loving same-sex couples to have two legally recognized parents will not harm the state in any way permitting the children of loving same-sex couples to have two legally recognized parents will better protect these children and will keep the state from continuing to 'impair the rights of' these children," they argued.

"It is not in the public interest that, if a stay were to be granted, convicted felons who might never be able to live with their spouse would still be able to marry, while loving same-sex couples raising children would not… Since the clock is not going to be turned back – the right of same-sex couples to marry in the growing number of states currently allowing it is no more going to be taken away than is the right of inter-racial couples to marry – it is also clear that the public interest is best served by promoting equality now."

The lawyers are asking for an expedited appeal:

Their request for a fast-tracked appeal notes that other appeals courts have granted requests to expedite same-sex marriage cases. And though the Sixth Circuit denied a request to expedite a same-sex marriage case from Ohio, “the question in Obergefell [the Ohio case] is whether the State of Ohiomust recognize valid out-of-state marriages on death certificates; the absence of expedited consideration in Obergefell does not deprive adults of the right to marry pending appeal, nor does it leave minor children vulnerable for an extended periodof time as would be the case if expedited consideration were denied in the instant matter.”

All states within the jurisdiction of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals have same-sex marriage cases pending in the appeals court. The Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits will hear marriage cases as well.

More than 300 marriages took place over the weekend before the stay was put in place.

You may have missed this MICHIGAN info…
Governor: Michigan to Hold Off on Recognizing Gay Marriages Performed Over Weekend
Michigan's Marriage Equality Ruling: A Summary and Analysis [tlrd]
Federal Appeals Court Suspends Gay Marriages in Michigan Until at Least Wednesday [tlrd]
Here is Joyful Video of the First Gay Marriages in Michigan: WATCH [tlrd]
First Gay Couple Marries in Ingham County, Michigan: PHOTO [tlrd]
At Least Four Michigan Counties to Issue Marriage Licenses to Gay Couples Today [tlrd]
Federal Judge Strikes Down Michigan's Ban on Gay Marriage: VIDEO [tlrd)


  1. TKinSC says

    “…[T]here is every reason to believe that Judge Friedman would have promptly considered” a motion to stay.

    Alright then, extend the stay until Monday to give the state time to ask Judge Friedman for a longer stay.

  2. Randy says

    I like the plaintiffs response to the stay question, for this:

    … the decision below does not “redefine marriage”. … Granting same-sex couples the right to marry no more redefines marriage than granting women’s suffrage redefined voting or ending segregation in public accommodations redefined eating in restaurants…


    Throughout the litigation of this case, the State Defendants-Appellants have attempted to portray the case as a scientific experiment, as if the question were whether there should be same-sex couples and families, effectively treating Plaintiffs-Appellees and all of the other Michigan same-sex families as if they don’t exist or don’t count.

  3. Randy says

    Having read the documents available, it seems to me that
    1. The AG DID apply for a stay at the district court, and the court ignored it.
    2. Therefore, the appeals court should consider the stay.
    3. I’m unclear whether the Supreme Court’s involvement in the Utah case requires a stay here, or whether the court should apply the 4-factor test which clearly weighs in our favor.

    There is one reason that the court should deny the stay which is not actually brought up by plaintiffs in so many words… this stay is (I think) the only stay which is opposed in court not only by a same-sex couple, but also by their children as appellees themselves (“the Plaintiff-Appellee children remain particularly vulnerable”) and the evidence at trial clearly showed they are being harmed every day marriage is denied to their parents.

    I notice this time, the AG has his act together and has asked for a stay for their inevitable appeal (of the stay issue) to the Supreme Court. He may be wasting Michigan’s money, but at least now he just looks evil, instead of sloppy and evil.

Leave A Reply