A judge has struck down Michigan's ban on gay marriage, according to Associate Press.
The decision is the latest in a series of overturned laws across the country. Associated Press reports Federal Judge Bernard Friedman ruled Friday after a two-week trial regarding two Detroit-area nurses who've been partners for eight years. They claimed Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage violated their rights under the U.S. Constitution. It was not clear if gay marriages could begin immediately, reported AP. Nearly 60 percent of state voters in 2004 approved a constitutional amendment that recognizes marriage only as between a man and a woman.
Scholars testified during the trial, stating there were no differences between children raised in same-sex households and those raised by a man and a woman.
Michigan's Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Friday that he filed an emergency request for stay and appeal of the federal judge's ruling.
"In 2004 the citizens of Michigan recognized that diversity in parenting is best for kids and families because moms and dads are not interchangeable," said Schuette. "Michigan voters enshrined that decision in our State constitution, and their will should stand and be respected. I will continue to carry out my duty to protect and defend the constitution."
Representatives from Progress Michigan welcomed the judge's decision on Friday, saying it was a step in the right direction.
"This is a great step forward for Michigan and should be a signal to every single public official that discrimination cannot - and will not - stand in our state," said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. "Michigan still has steps to take to ensure that everyone in our state has equal protection and rights under the law, but today is a signal toward progress."
According to reports, at least one county clerk has taken to Twitter with marriage documents asking residents to bring ID and documentation first thing Monday morning.
Bishop John Doerfler of the Diocese of Marquette released this statement regarding Friday's ruling:"Every human being has great God-given dignity and must be loved, cherished and respected. We honor the dignity of persons with same-sex attraction, whom we welcome in the Catholic Church. Nonetheless, marriage is a special relationship between one man and one woman. Children best flourish in this environment that is rooted in who we are as human beings. Thus, marriage between one man and one woman serves the common good and should be protected in law."