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Gay Marriage On Hold Until At Least Wednesday

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A couple gets married on Saturday, March 22 A couple gets married on Saturday, March 22

(WLNS) - The battle over Michigan's ban on gay marriage continued throughout the weekend and is still a large topic Monday.

On Fri. March 21, Federal Judge Bernard Friedman decided the same-sex marriage ban approved by voters in 2004 was unconstitutional. 

The decision was made late enough Friday that gay and lesbian couples couldn't get married. However, that didn't stop happy couples, who had been waiting patiently for months from getting in line Saturday.

Couples are again waiting patiently Monday because around 5 p.m. Saturday a federal appeals court halted same-sex weddings in Michigan.

6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick says it could be years before these couples get any solid answers.

"They are lawfully married under federal law. They are somewhat in limbo in Michigan," said Richard McLellan, Lansing Attorney.

These same-sex couples have no rights under Michigan law because the state Attorney General has obtained a temporary stay from the appellate court to place those rights on hold.

The governor's office agrees, saying it is waiting to see how the court rules on the constitutionality of Michigans' ban on gay marriage that was tossed out by a federal judge last Friday.

This constitutional attorney predicts the marital rights of gay couples will remain on hold for years as this slowly moves through the appellate and US Supreme Court level

Reporter: "So, we are talking 4-5 years, right?"

McLellan: "Right."

The democrat running for governor, who has embraced same-sex marriage, hits the governor for "wasting" tax dollars by continuing all these appeals. Mark Schauer disagrees with the governor's "refusal to recognize" these unions.

The LGBT community is urging the Attorney General to drop his appeal but Mr. Schuette will not. He believes when the citizens voted in 2004 to impose the ban, they got it right and the Detroit judge got it wrong.

The governor has refused to take a personal stance on gay marriage, although he supports civil unions. He says he will abide by whatever the courts finally rule.

But Mr. McLellan thinks the gay community can avoid waiting five years for the courts to rule by placing this issue back on the ballot for voters to decide.

"That's correct. 2016 is not that far away," said Richard McLellan, Lansing Attorney.

In the meantime, these couples have federal rights, but not Michigan rights.

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