Judge strikes down Michigan's ban on gay marriage

ED WHITE Associated Press Published:

DETROIT (AP) -- Some Michigan counties will start issuing marriage licenses Saturday to same-sex couples unless a higher court intervenes and suspends a decision striking down a ban on gay marriage.

Detroit federal Judge Bernard Friedman overturned a constitutional amendment that was approved by 59 percent of voters in 2004. It recognizes marriage only as between a man and a woman. The judge says it violates the U.S. Constitution.

Attorney General Bill Schuette (SHOO'-tee) asked an appeals court in Cincinnati to step in Friday. There was no immediate response.

Washtenaw, Oakland and Muskegon counties will start issuing marriage licenses Saturday. Others will join Monday.

Detroit-area nurses April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse filed a lawsuit because they're barred from jointly adopting each other's children. Joint adoption is reserved for married heterosexual couples in Michigan.

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