Same sex marriage now legal nationwide

Scott Harris and Bob Betts

Scott Harris and Bob Betts

The Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same sex marriage has caused immediate reaction around Michigan, both for and against.

Several same sex couples lined up first thing this morning at their local clerk’s office, ready to receive a license.

In Isabella county, long-time partners Scott Harris and Bob Betts was the first same sex couple to receive a marriage license. Harris said this was a day he’d been waiting for.

“Actually it’s still surreal . I think that it’s the first time I really, truly don’t feel like a second class citizen. I feel like my rights are being stood up for. And I don’t think, even me being a Marine, I’ve ever been prouder of this country.”

Another person in line in Isabella county, was Anne McClellan. She was considering renewing her vows.

She said she married her wife while it was legal in New York, and had this to say about the decision.

“It’s a wonderful day. It’s joyful; it’s a great day. I was married three years ago tomorrow, in the state of New York.” said McClellan. “I think it’s wonderful. It’s a great day for this state, it’s a great day for this country.”

New Marriage LicenseWhatever their feelings, county clerks around the state had to be ready to issue new licenses.

“We have the ‘okay’ to marry. Have them fill the forms out, do the marriage certificate, we can even do the ceremony, said Isabella county clerk, Minde Lux. “We will be upholding what the Supreme Court decision is, and going forth from there.”

Lux said the new forms from the state were sent this morning, and were distributed without delay.

While Gay Rights advocates celebrated the landmark Supreme court victory, they say there are still battles to fight,

In Michigan, same-sex supporters say they want to see LGBTQ people protected under the state’s Elliot-Larsen civil rights protections.
Chris Lauckner is Chair of Perceptions, Michigan in the tri-cities; an advocacy organization created for members and supporters of the LGBTQ community.

“I think the biggest issue for us right now it to move beyond tolerance and look more toward being accepted. Not just accepting the LGBTQ individuals, but accepting all individuals no matter what their differences might be.

Lauckner says the LGBTQ community is also working for – not just tolerance, but for wider acceptance.

Michigan Catholic bishops released a statement on Friday’s legalization of same sex marriage.

The bishops stated, quote “ While every person is called to love and deserves to be loved, today’s momentous decision will not change the truth of the Church’s teaching on marriage”

The group said opposition between the new law and religious teaching could cause many problems between the state and members of faith communities.