Lawyers representing 8 of the more than
300 couples who exchanged vows during the 24-hour window when such
unions were legal in Michigan on Thursday asked a federal judge to
force the state to recognize the marriages.
On March 21, U.S. District Judge
Bernard Friedman ruled the state's marriage ban invalid. Clerks in
four Michigan counties opened their doors the following day, a
Saturday, to marry more than 300 gay couples before the Sixth Circuit
Court of Appeals in Cincinnati suspended Friedman's decision as the
state pursues an appeal.
While the federal government said it
will recognize the marriages as valid, Republican Governor Rick
Snyder said the state will not.
U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith
heard arguments in the case, Caspar v. Snyder, in his Detroit
Detroit News reported.
“Our case is about the right to stay
married and not about the right to get married,” ACLU attorney
Julian Mortenson argued during Thursday's hearing. “We're asking
the state to start recognizing the marriages tomorrow.”
Lead plaintiffs Marsha Caspar and
Glenna DeJong were the first gay couple to marry in Michigan on March
22. Together 27 years, the women said they had waited long enough.
“There's nothing confusing about
this,” Caspar told the paper. “How long do we have to wait?
It's very upsetting.”