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Court Ruling Could Lift Ban On Same-Sex Marriage In State Of Michigan

DETROIT (WWJ) - U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman could make a ruling Wednesday on whether Michigan's 2004 ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution.

If he decides to lift that ban without issuing a stay, same-sex marriage would be legal in Michigan on Wednesday until a higher court overturns it says attorney Dana Nessel.

"I don't think that the state will be able to show any injury to itself, that there is any injury of any kind to the state of Michigan, by allowing marriages to immediately start taking place," said Nessel. "But I can tell you for a fact, that if there is no stay in place, then there may be a window of opportunity for hundreds and hundreds of couples."

Nessel says the judge also may decide whether the state's ban on same-sex adoption should be overturned.

"Michigan has one of the most draconian constitutional bans in the nation - in that - not only does it prevent same sex marriage but it also prohibits domestic partnerships or civil unions," she said. "So there is literally no way in which same sex couples can achieve any kind of legal recognition of their relationships in the state of Michigan."

Nessel represents a Hazel Park couple asking that a 2004 state law be overturned prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying, and to declare unconstitutional Michigan's Adoption Code, which prohibits joint adoption by same sex couples.

Nessel believes there will be an appeal, regardless of the ruling.

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