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Schuette asks for fast action on gay marriage case

Michigan Attorney General

  State Attorney General Bill Schuette has asked a federal appeals court to put the legal challenge to Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage on a fast track. Schuette is defending Michigan’s ban.

Schuette’s filed a motion with the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to skip a hearing before a three judge panel and go directly to the entire 15-judge court. That could shave months, maybe as much as a year, off the appeals process. Schuette says the question needs to settled regardless of who wins in the end. 

“The sooner we have a more thoughtful and complete and full review of this case, I think the better off everybody is, but I think we want a resolution on it,” Schuette said in a conference call.

Schuette says he’s certain the issue will eventually wind up before the United States Supreme Court, although it may not be the Michigan case. It’s possible several states could be combined.

A federal judge ruled two weeks ago that Michigan’s marriage amendment violates equal protection rights. That decision was put on hold by the appeals court, but not before 300 gay and lesbian couples in Michigan got married.

A federal judge in Ohio today (Fri.) struck down that state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Ohio is in the Sixth Circuit. The appeals court also has marriage cases pending from Tennessee and Kentucky.

In other circuits, courts have ruled on same-sex marriage bans in Utah, Texas, Oklahoma, and Virginia.  

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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