Gay rights groups cheer Michigan gay marriage decision

Fri. March 21, 2014 9:50 PM by

Gay rights groups are cheering a federal judge's ruling declaring Michigan's ban on gay marriage invalid.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman struck down the ban following a two-week trial that ended on March 7. In his 31-page ruling, Friedman said the ban violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

(Related: Michigan's ban on gay marriage struck down)

The ruling was released after county clerk offices, which issue marriage licenses, had closed for the weekend. The AP reported that Attorney General Bill Schuette was preparing to ask the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati to suspend Friedman's decision as the state pursues an appeal.

Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, applauded Friedman's ruling.

"The discriminatory ban is untrue to Michigan's – and America's – values, and the judge was right to strike it down," Wolfson said in an emailed statement. "It's time that all committed couples in Michigan be treated with respect and dignity under the law, fully able to share in the freedom to marry and the responsibilities and protections marriage brings. Today's win comes after a full trial – complete with prosecutors and defendants, witness cross-examinations, and testimony from family experts on the well-being of children – which showed that opponents have nothing more than the same bogus claims they have recycled for decades. They were simply unable to provide a single legitimate reason why committed same-sex couples should be excluded from marriage. Michigan, like all of America, is ready for the freedom to marry."

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine