Couples wait for decision from Federal Appeals Court regarding s - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Couples wait for decision from Federal Appeals Court regarding same sex marriage

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(03/24/14) - It's now a waiting game for same-sex couples in Michigan.

Gov. Rick Snyder says the state won't decide whether to recognize any same sex marriages performed over the weekend, until a Federal Appeals Court rules on the overturned voter-approved ban.

Now, county clerks are faced with tough questions.

Genesee County clerk John Gleason says many of those couples are disappointed after learning they're going to have to wait at least a little longer.

The excitement started to build on Friday when a federal judge in Detroit struck down the state law banning those marriages. For some, that excitement lasted less than a day, before an appeal of the ruling was filed.

Gleason tells us some couples made arrangements to bring their families into town and have ministers take part. He describes some of them as heartbroken.

"A lot of these couples had been together for decades and they thought this was their big opportunity. I still think my thought is that it's going to become part of our society. I think it's going to happen," he said.

We talked with a couple who was hoping to get married - but a local pastor doesn't agree with their decision.

Kym and Melinda, who held a wedding ceremony last year, say even though they're not legally married, they consider each other family.

"In September, we had this huge ceremony with about 150 people and in our hearts we married in September," Melinda said.

They were counting on tying the knot, Monday. Now they'll have to wait to see if that will actually happen.

"Devastated, absolutely like someone ripped our hearts out. The fact that they gave it to us and then took it away so fast was absolutely devastating to us. We've waited so long and now still we have to wait," Melinda said.

Melinda adopted her little boy, Noah. Another reason they want to get married is because Kym isn't considered a legal guardian.

Two members of the clergy are offering different opinion.

Claudene Oliva, a minister at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Flint, was ready to take in same sex couples.

"We were ready for today. We had a group of people who were coming at 7 in the morning to get ready. We had people who were assisting. We had people who wanted to get married. We had clergy who were willing to marry folks," she said.

Chris Martin, who pastors Cathedral of Faith Church in Flint, won't allow it in his church.

"As a pastor, I have a duty to tell people what the truth is and the truth is that any kind of homosexuality or lesbianism is something that God frowns upon," he said.

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