When Ann Arbor resident Paula Weber got legally married in March, along with 300 plus couples, her celebration was quickly met with despair when a stay was issued. The immediate stay placed Weber and her partner in a legal limbo. The couple was now eligible for federal benefits but no state. Both of the two are self-employed and this put the future of their business in jeopardy. “Our home is the location of our business, and is our primary investment for the last 18 years as homeowners,” Weber said.
Gov. Rick Snyder announced Wednesday that more than 300 marriages of same-sex couples on Saturday were performed legally by county clerks across the state of Michigan, but will not be recognized for benefits by the state until the case is resolved by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum said she performed the first of 57 same-sex marriage ceremonies a couple of minutes after 8 o’clock on Saturday morning. She also said five officiants showed up to help perform marriages, including East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett. “It was an absolutely amazing experience,” Byrum said. This entire courthouse was loud.
UPDATE: The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on Saturday ordered a stay until Wednesday of Friday’s ruling that upended Michigan’s ban on gay marriage
Ingham County Chronicle staff
Ingham Clerk Barb Byrum wasted no time this morning and neither did Lansing newlyweds Glenna DeJong and Marsha Caspar. At 7:58 a.m., Byrum tweeted, “Marsha & Glenna have been together for 26 years and are getting married RIGHT NOW!!” A Friday afternoon decision by U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman struck down Michigan’s 2004 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, opening the door for gays and lesbians to marry in Michigan. Byrum was tweeting through the night and up early in what became a race to perform Michigan’s first gay marriage. On Thursday, the day before Friedman’s ruling, she had tweeted on @BarbByrum, “Ingham County resident interested in getting married?”
Sustainability week on campus has many people finding new ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle. The East Lansing and Lansing areas were abuzz with Halloween Activities. And, in preparation for the MSU vs. UM Football game, some students stuck through the night to protect the Sparty Statue on campus. Focal Point is an Emmy awarding winning, student produced newscast from the School of Journalism at Michigan State University.