300 same-sex marriage licenses issued in Michigan

By: NewsCenter 16 Email
By: NewsCenter 16 Email

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Clerks in four Michigan counties have issued more than 300 licenses to same-sex couples.

The first to do so Saturday was Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum, who approved 57 in all.

The licenses also issued in Washtenaw, Oakland and Muskegon counties came a day after Michigan's gay marriage ban was struck down by U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman.

The Michigan governor's office says state agencies won't immediately recognize hundreds of same-sex marriages that were performed in the hours before an appeals court put on hold a judge's ruling that tossed out a state ban on gay marriage.

Spokeswoman Sara Wurfel told The Associated Press on Sunday that Gov. Rick Snyder considers the issue moot until the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati decides whether to extend the hold on the ruling. That's expected no sooner than Wednesday.

The specter of such a stay didn't keep Elizabeth Patten away from the Washtenaw County building in Ann Arbor during the early morning hours of Saturday. Shortly after the clerk's doors opened, she had a license and headed downstairs where a judge married her and 28-year partner Jonnie Terry.

Patten says the experience "was really surreal."


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