Michigan's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, a federal judge said Friday as he struck down a law that was widely embraced by voters a decade ago - the latest in a recent series of decisions overturning similar laws across the country. U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman announced his ruling after a rare two-week trial that mostly focused on the impact of same-sex parenting on children.UPDATE: Read the ruling here.
There was no indication that the judge was suspending his decision. Attorney General Bill Schuette said he was immediately filing a request with a federal appeals court to suspend Friedman's decision and prevent same-sex couples from immediately marrying. The decision was released shortly after 5 p.m., when most county clerk offices in Michigan were closed. Clerks issue marriage licenses.
Seventeen states and the District of Columbia issue licenses for same-sex marriage. Since December, bans on gay marriage have been overturned in Texas, Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia, but appeals have put those cases on hold.