"OK" TO GAY?
ISLAM NEWSROOM - Friday January 16, 2015 Michigan Judge Orders Courts to Recognize GAY MARRIAGES While Quoting Bible verses.
GAY MARRIAGES (same sex marriage) Ruled by Michigan judge to be OK.
In a ruling that boosted the gay marriage movement, a federal judge on Thursday said the state of Michigan must recognize the marriages of 300 same-sex couples who wed last year.
"In these circumstances, what the state has joined together, it may not put asunder," U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith wrote, echoing a biblical verse that condemns those who breakup marriages.
Goldsmith's ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed by eight same-sex couples who got married during a window of opportunity last March after a federal judge struck down Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage. Roughly 300 couples got married that day.
The next day, a federal appeals court put the judge's decision that legalized gay marriage on hold, and the state since has refused to recognize the marriages.
Goldsmith said the state has likely violated the couples' due process and equal protection rights by refusing to recognize the marriages. He did issue an injunction, putting it on hold for 21 days. That means his decision won't take immediate effect.
But he did give the same-sex couples a legal blessing, concluding they got married fair and square and that state officials have no "compelling interest" to ignore their married status.
And it's also "irrelevant" whether the couples had a constitutional right to marry in the first place, he wrote, stating that once a marriage license has been validly issued, the state "cannot withdraw the status that it has awarded, even if the couples had no right to demand to be married in the first place."
To rule otherwise, Goldsmith wrote, "could catastrophically undermine the stability that marriage seeks to create."
For the plaintiffs, the ruling paves the way for them to begin getting all the perks that go along with marriage, but have been denied to them thus far, such as the right to adopt children together or share health benefits.
"Being legally married and receiving the benefits and protections of marriage are not, and cannot be, mutually exclusive," said the lead plaintiff, Glenna DeJong, who married her longtime partner, Marsha Caspar, last March.
DeJong said she and the other couples married last year " were caught in a paradox –we were married and we were not."
"It's stressful having to work so hard for something that seems so simple," DeJong said. "We don't want special rights, just the same rights afforded to other married couples."
Meanwhile, the status of same-sex marriage in Michigan has landed in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court.
The plaintiffs at the center of the debate — two Hazel Park nurses — have taken their fight to the U.S. Supreme court following a bumpy ride through the courts, where they have been fighting to overturn Michigan's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.
The state of Michigan has put up a vigorous fight to uphold the will of the voters, who in 2004 decided that marriage can only be recognized as a union between one man and one woman. Last March, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman struck down that ban, clearing the way for same sex couples to get married.
But the next day, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals put the decision on hold. It later ruled in favor of the state, saying the issue of gay marriage should be decided by voters, not judges.
The issue is now before the U.S. Supreme Court, which could soon decide to take Michigan's case -- possibly Friday.
Gov. Rick Snyder, who has refused to recognize the same-sex couples even though he has conceded that they were legally married at the time, said he will follow Thursday's court ruling.
" I'm going to follow what the law is," Snyder said, adding he "would respect what a federal judge is saying" unless or until his ruling is appealed or amended.
Neither Snyder nor state Attorney General Bill Schuette would say on Thursday whether they plan to appeal Goldsmith's ruling.
Schuette issued a brief statement, saying: "We are reviewing Judge Goldsmith's decision but as I have said repeatedly, the sooner the United States Supreme Court makes a decision on this issue the better it will be for Michigan and America,"
The ACLU,. which filed the lawsuit, hailed Thursday's decision.