MASON, Mich. — An appeals court has temporarily placed a halt on a ruling that legalized same-sex ‘marriage in Michigan.
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued the stay on Saturday, just one day after U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman handed down his 31-page opinion, stating that despite views to the contrary, Michigan officials must allow homosexuals to “marry” and adopt children together.
“Many Michigan residents have religious convictions whose principles govern the conduct of their daily lives and inform their own viewpoints about marriage,” he wrote. “Nonetheless, these views cannot strip other citizens of the guarantees of equal protection under the law.”
The Sixth Circuit Court stated that the stay will continue until at least Wednesday, as it needed more time to consider the state’s appeal. Michigan Attorney General Bil Schuette had noted to the court that the U.S. Supreme Court had granted a stay to Utah officials when a federal judge likewise legalized same-sex “marriage” in the state in spite of the will of the people.
Voters in Michigan had passed a marriage amendment in 2004 that made it unlawful to conduct or recognize same-sex “marriages” in the state. It was passed with 59 percent of the vote, or nearly 2.7 million ballots cast in the favor of the measure.
“To secure and preserve the benefits of marriage for our society and for future generations of children, the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose,” the state constitutional amendment read.
Schuette had argued before the district court that overturning the amendment would essentially make null and void the will of the people. But Friedman ruled on Friday that although a certain position is firmly held among the people, it doesn’t mean that it is constitutional.
“In attempting to define this case as a challenge to ‘the will of the people,’ state defendants lost sight of what this case is truly about: people,” he wrote. “No court record of this proceeding could ever fully convey the personal sacrifice of these two plaintiffs who seek to ensure that the state may no longer impair the rights of their children and the thousands of others now being raised by same-sex couples.”
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will now have to consider the matter.
“The courts will have to sort it out,” Schuette spokesperson Joy Yearout told the Associated Press.
Even if the Sixth Circuit lifts the stay, some believe that Governor Rick Snyder should stand his ground and uphold the state Constitution. Last year, Gary Glenn of the American Family Association of Michigan asserted Snyder should ignore any unlawful ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court surrounding marriage.
“With the heritage we have from the freedom fighters and the Freedom Riders who came before us, God forgive us if we fail to stand,” he declared. “But if we do, as Martin Luther King said, we should do to fulfill our Christian duty. We will threaten those, we will overcome those, who threaten our faith and freedom. And we will be proud to stand with you in that struggle for our faith [and] we will be blessed for doing so.”