On March 21 U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman ruled against Michigan’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Approximately 24 hours later, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay. The stay was extended until Tuesday resulting the outcome of Schuette’s appeal.
In the 24 hours that gay marriage had been legal, roughly 300 couples had gotten married. County clerks in Ingham, Muskegon, Oakland and Washtenaw counties opened their offices on Saturday, implicitly for the sole reason of issuing marriage licenses.
In 2004, Michigan voters approved the gay marriage ban, 59 percent voting for it. Judge Friedman would have made Michigan the 18th state plus Washington D.C. to make same-sex marriage legal.
Snyder has said recently that he “doesn’t take a stand on social issues.” He said during a debate in 2010 that marriage should be “between a man and a woman but people should also have the ability to make contracts between themselves.” Wednesday he said “I’m not going to go back and rehash a sentence in one debate from four years ago. I’ve been focused on jobs, it’s my main message, and I’m staying consistent with that.”
Supporters of same-sex marriage have argued that the 300 ceremonies should be valid. Snyder said “We believe those are legal marriages and valid marriages. The stay being issued the next night made it more complicated.”
Schuette said “From my standpoint, the sooner the better” regarding the court’s decision on same-sex marriage. “I don’t believe in selective enforcement where an attorney general can pick and choose what she or he might think is constitutional or if the political pressure is to great, or if you don’t personally like it or what have you.”
Schuette has been against cutting pensions by city of Detroit retirees during the city’s bankruptcy because those pensions are guaranteed by Michigan’s constitution.
An Epic/MRA poll conducted in February showed 56 percent of Michiganders think same-sex marriage should be legal with 34 opposing.
ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted between February 27 to March 2 revealed 59 percent of Americans support same sex marriage with 34 percent against it.
Snyder is the former Chairman of the board of Gateway Inc. He won the Governorship in 2010 defeating Lansing mayor Virg Bernero in a landslide.
Both Snyder and Schuette are up for re-election in November. Snyder is running against former US congressman Mark Schauer while Schuette is up against Michigan State University law professor Mark Totten.