News (USA)

Same-sex marriage ruling leads to immediate vows in Michigan

Derek Davis, left, and Chris Berghuis, both 36 of Ann Arbor, embrace after exchanging vows in Ann Arbor, Mich., following a ruling by the US Supreme Court that struck down bans on same sex marriage nation wide Friday, June 26, 2015.
Derek Davis, left, and Chris Berghuis, both 36 of Ann Arbor, embrace after exchanging vows in Ann Arbor, Mich., following a ruling by the US Supreme Court that struck down bans on same sex marriage nation wide Friday, June 26, 2015. Paul Sancya, AP

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About 300 same-sex couples were married last year when gay marriage was allowed in Michigan for about 24 hours. Marriages immediately resumed Friday in some counties where clerks waived the three-day waiting period for a license.

“I’ve got a wife. I’m married. I don’t have to say she’s my partner,” Lee Chaney, 54, said after marrying Dawn Chapel, 53, in Ingham County.

The Rev. Nicolette Siragusa of First Congregational United Church of Christ wore a rainbow collar as she led two women from East Lansing through marriage vows on the courthouse steps in Mason.

“We can live our boring married life just like everybody else,” Lauren Brown, 33, told Lindsey Wren, 37. They laughed.

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Wayne County, which includes Detroit, will hold a mass marriage ceremony each weekday in July for heterosexual or same-sex couples, instead of just on Fridays.

In the Upper Peninsula, Marquette County Clerk Linda Talsma sent two women home to get a birth certificate. For $25, she was waiving the waiting period for a license. “I’m not going to stay open any later,” Talsma said. “The doors close at 5 p.m.”

Michigan’s Roman Catholic bishops said they 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.

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