Gov. Snyder: Michigan will 'fully comply' with gay marriage
Governor Rick Snyder pledged today to “fully comply” with a U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage nationwide and urged Michigan residents to embrace the state's diversity by treating everyone with respect.
Counties, meanwhile, were updating marriage license applications to accommodate same-sex couples. Clerks in Ingham and Calhoun counties planned to marry gay couples immediately, while clerks elsewhere weren't going that far.
In the Grand Rapids area, Kent County said the typical three-day waiting period to get a license still will apply, especially with an anticipated increase in applications.
Michigan had a huge role in the Supreme Court decision. A federal judge in Detroit last year said a 2004 state ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional, and the nation's highest court agreed.
"Our state government will follow the law and our state agencies will make the necessary changes to ensure that we will fully comply,” the Republican governor said. “With this matter now settled, as Michiganders, we should move forward positively, embracing our state's diversity and striving to treat everyone with the respect and dignity they deserve."
Two Detroit-area nurses who sued the state jumped up, threw their arms in the air and yelled when they got the news. April DeBoer said she was "overwhelmed," and Jayne Rowse called it "surreal." No date for a wedding was set.
"We have to plan a wedding and adopt some kids," Rowse said in Ann Arbor, where the couple gathered with their lawyers and supporters.
They've each adopted two children, but hadn't been able to jointly adopt them because joint adoption in Michigan was tied to heterosexual marriage. That will change with the Supreme Court decision.
Michigan's Roman Catholic bishops were disappointed with the ruling and predicted "inestimable conflicts" between government and religious freedom.
The decision "represents a profound legal turning point in the contemporary and cultural understanding of spouses and family," the bishops said.