Schauer Celebrates Overturn Of Michigan Marriage Ban

By Todd Heywood

LANSING - Democratic candidate for governor Mark Schauer was excited Friday evening. In a phone call conversation with BTL minutes after the ruling was issued, he hailed U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman's ruling that strikes down Michigan's marriage amendment.

"I think this is a major victory," Schauer said. "Loving, committed couples across the state can now be married. They can finally be a family like any other Michigan family. "

Schauer said he has been an advocate for LGBT equality for many years.

"I have been such a profound supporter of marriage equality and equality in general because this ban hurts our economy," he said. "It prevents us from attracting the businesses and workers who value diversity."

On Saturday, four county clerk offices opened their offices and performed 315 same-sex marriages. Late that day the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay, thereby stopping any more marriages in Michigan until the court can consider the state's request for a more permanent stay.

"I am incredibly proud of the clerks who stood up for equality and performed marriages across the state last weekend," said Schauer. "It is simply shameful that Governor Snyder is continuing to waste taxpayer dollars to defend this discriminatory law, which is hurting families and hurting children. By refusing to recognize these legally-performed marriages, it's clear this governor is out of touch, and on the wrong side of history."

Attorney General Bill Schuette said that Judge Friedman's ruling goes against Michigan's constitution and "the will of the voters."

"It's time for Schuette and Snyder to end these ridiculous, costly appeals," Schauer said. "When I am governor, discrimination will have no place in our state. I will wake up every day committed to making sure everyone is treated fairly."

BACKGROUND: As a political candidate, Rick Snyder has repeatedly said he opposes marriage equality:

"On gay marriage, marriage is between a man and a woman." [WXYZ, 10/7/10, VIDEO]

"I believe that marriage is a sacred bond between a man and a woman and thus oppose gay marriage." [Right Michigan, 3/21/09]

Gov. Snyder recently defended the law he signed banning domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples in court, arguing the discriminatory policy is "financially sound." [MLive, 2/17/14]

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