A judge for the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] on Saturday declared [Reuters report] a temporary hold on same-sex marriages in Michigan. The ruling arrived one day after Friday's decision [JURIST report] by a judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan [official website] that held that the ban on same-sex marriages in Michigan is unconstitutional. Following the decision on Friday, a number of couples in Michigan entered into same-sex marriages, and the legality of their partnerships is now in question. The federal appeals court issued a temporary stay in the case until Wednesday.
The heated debate regarding same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] is one of the most polarizing [JURIST op-ed] issues currently facing the US legal community. Friday's decision made Michigan the 18th state in the US to recognize same-sex marriages. Earlier this month, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] filed two lawsuits challenging same-sex marriage bans in Indiana and Florida [JURIST reports]. Also this month, a federal judge for the US District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee granted [JURIST report] a preliminary injunction ordering the state of Tennessee to recognize same-sex marriages performed out-of-state until a lawsuit challenging the ban can be heard.