Washtenaw’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community applauds Gov. Rick Snyder’s decision today not to appeal a federal court’s ruling in favor of same-sex married couples in Michigan. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of couples who were legally married in Michigan in 2014 but whose marriages the state had refuses to recognize. The federal judge had placed a stay on the ruling, which expires February 5, meaning families can begin to enjoy the benefits of their marriage licenses that day.
“This is a great day and a big step forward for marriage equality in our great state,” Jim Toy Community Center President Brad O’Conner said. “We look forward to the day all Michigan families are treated equally under the law.”
In February 2015, a federal court ruled that the 323 couples who were married on March 22, 2014, following a ruling by a federal court in the DeBoer v. Snyder case that challenged the state’s ban on issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples or recognizing their licenses from other states. The DeBoer case judge issued his ruling on March 21, but did not put a stay on the ruling. This allowed couples a few hours to get married in the four counties whose clerks were willing to issue licenses to these couples. The class action lawsuit on behalf of the 323 couples is Caspar v. Snyder.
Among the 323 couples in Washtenaw, many are organizing celebrations for their first anniversary—March 22. LGBT groups across the state, including the Jim Toy Community Center, which serves Washtenaw’s LGBT community, are also planning events for June in anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the four cases regarding marriage equality—including the DeBoer case—that the Court has agreed to hear.