Appeals court reinstates gay marriage ban in Michigan.

Appeals Court Ends Brief Period of Marriage Equality in Michigan

Appeals Court Ends Brief Period of Marriage Equality in Michigan

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March 22 2014 9:00 PM

Appeals Court Ends Brief Period of Marriage Equality in Michigan

Same-sex couples hug after getting married in a group ceremony by the Oakland County Clerk at the Oakland County Courthouse on March 22

Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

UPDATE: Same-sex couples in Michigan were right to try to rush their weddings on Saturday because marriage equality in the state didn’t last long. A couple of hours after a few country clerk’s offices began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Saturday morning, a federal appeals court in Cincinatti reinstated the ban on gay marriage at least until Wednesday. The move by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals means U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman’s order that declared the ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional is stayed and clerks can no longer issue marriage licenses. “To allow a more reasoned consideration of the motion to stay, it is ordered that the district court judgment is temporarily stayed until Wednesday,” the 6th Circuit said in an order issued late Saturday, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Original post, 12:17 p.m.: Same-sex couples in several counties in Michigan didn’t waste any time and started getting married on Saturday, mere hours after a judge scrapped a 10-year ban on marriage equality from the state constitution. Glenna DeJohn, 53, and Marsha Caspar, 51, were the first same-sex couple to be married shortly after Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum opened the courthouse doors at 8 a.m. The couple that has been together for 27 years had initially planned to get married Monday but rushed to the courthouse after DeJong saw on Twitter that Byrum planned to issue marriage licenses on Saturday. “I’ve never seen her get up so fast, especially on a weekend,” DeJong said of Caspar, according to the Detroit News. “We couldn’t wait and plan. We just had to act.” In the first hour, Byrum married three same-sex couples.

Couples in at least four Michigan counties were getting married Saturday, according to the Detroit Free Press. And several of county clerks saw couples begin to line up from early in the morning. “So many people have been waiting long enough,” Byrum said. “The more I thought about the more absurd it seemed to make them wait until Monday morning.”

The rush was in part due to concern that courts could grant the state attorney general’s request for a stay at any time and effectively stop more marriages from taking place. It's unclear when the federal appeals court will respond to the Attorney General Bill Schuette's request for a stay that he filed immediately after the ruling, notes the Associated Press.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.