Same-Sex Marriage is a Constitutionally Protected Right in the United States

Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage is now invalid

Today was a day eagerly awaited by many in Michigan and across the United States – the Supreme Court has legalized gay marriage in the United States. In its 5-4 opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges held that, under the Fourteenth Amendment, a state is required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and must also recognize the marriages of same-sex couples that were performed out of state and lawfully licensed.

State laws that conflict with this ruling are invalid, meaning that Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage – the very ban that was at issue here – no longer exists.

The same-sex marriage ban that existed in Michigan was thrust into the limelight when plaintiffs April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, a couple from Hazel Park, sued in order to adopt their children jointly. Their case was consolidated with others when it reached the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld Michigan’s ban on gay marriage.

Governor Rick Snyder issued a statement earlier this morning vowing compliance with the law of the land: “Our state government will follow the law and our state agencies will make the necessary changes to ensure that we will fully comply.”

County clerks across the Michigan are prepared to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Kent County received its first gay marriage license application earlier this morning. Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum has extended office hours today, and has waived the three-day waiting period.

We will provide a more extensive synopsis of the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage in the following week. Please stay tuned!