On Friday, Michigan became the latest US state to have its ban on same-sex marriage lifted – but only for a day.
While dozens of gay and lesbian couples managed to get married on Saturday after a federal judge ruled the ban was unconstitutional, the celebrations were short-lived.
Hours later a federal appeals court put the issuing oF same-sex marriage licenses on hold – at least until Wednesday.
According to The Detroit News, the US Appeals Court for the Sixth Circuit explained that the suspension was “to allow a more reasoned consideration of the motion to stay.”
Michigan’s Attorney General Bill Schuette is opposing the legalisation of same-sex marriage in his state.
The court will decide by Wednesday if more same-sex marriages can go ahead or if marriage equality will remain in limbo until a full appeals process is complete.
Despite the snag, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) saw the earlier ruling as a victory for marriage equality.
“It’s clear that the law is on the side of LGBT Americans, and we are moving with increasing momentum toward the day when all loving and committed same-sex couples receive the dignity and respect they deserve,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.
The organisation also pointed that the Michigan ruling was particularly significant because Mark Regnerus, who authored a biased and flawed anti-gay parenting study that has been used against marriage equality, testified during the trial as a witness for the state.
Regnerus again stated that he believed marriage was between one man and one woman. He also admitted that the report’s chief funder, the anti-gay Witherspoon Institute, wanted the study completed before the US Supreme Court took up marriage equality.
Hundreds of Regnerus’ fellow sociologists, the American Sociological Association, and even his own department at the University of Texas at Austin have spoken out against his anti-gay study.
In Friday’s ruling, Judge Bernard A. Friedman dismissed the study and its author outright. He wrote: “The Court finds Regnerus’s testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration.”
Same-sex couples can legally marry in 17 US states and in Washington, DC. Currently 29 states have constitutional amendments restricting marriage to one man and one woman.