March 22, 2014 at 4:52 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Marriage equality (briefly) comes to Michigan
wedding expo, wedding rings, gay news, Washington Blade

Clerks for at least four counties opened their doors over the weekend to accommodate couples seeking to wed as the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals announced it wouldn’t immediately make a decision on a stay request from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.

Following a ruling from a district judge striking down Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage, gay couples waited in line and exchanged vows Saturday on the state’s first day of marriage equality.

Clerks for at least four counties — Ingham, Washtenaw, Muskegon and Oakland — opened their doors over the weekend to accommodate couples seeking to wed.

[UPDATE: After the clerks’ offices closed Saturday, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay on same-sex weddings in Michigan until Wednesday. The deadline for plaintiffs to file a response to the stay request is Tuesday. The stay was requested by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.]

The Washington Blade compiled social media postings on the historic first marriages in the state:

Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum married shortly after 8 a.m. Glenna DeJong and Marsha Caspar of Lansing, Mich., who have been together for 26 years and seem to be the first same-sex couple to wed in the state:


At the end of the day, Byrum said a total of 57 marriage license were distributed and she personally conducted 30 ceremonies.


After the clerk’s office in Washtenaw County, which comprises Ann Arbor, opened up at 9 a.m., University of Michigan law student Kyle Luebke photographed the first same-sex couples to wed in that county.

U.S. District Judge Judith Levy, a lesbian confirmed this month by the U.S. Senate for a seat on the federal bench in Michigan, made marrying a same-sex couple the first official act of her judgeship.


The Detroit Free Press’ Katrease Stafford tweeted that Washtenaw County handed out 74 marriage licenses closing its doors that afternoon.


Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown, who aided plaintiffs in their lawsuit seeking to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, said she handed out 142 licenses before the end of the day.


East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett said he personally officiated at three same-sex weddings and noted the historic nature of the marriages.


And yours truly, who was born and raised in Lansing and went to college at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, recognized the occasion from his home in D.C.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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