Local couple prepares to marry following federal judge's ruling - WNEM TV 5

Local couple prepares to marry following federal judge's ruling

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Deborah Baldwin and Aimee Loubert have walked up the steps of the Genesee County Courthouse many times but on Friday night, they're hoping the walk will be the last time they'll leave empty-handed.

"I never thought this would happen in my lifetime, I'm so ecstatic," said Baldwin.

The two women have been in a committed relationship for 20 years.  Now that a federal judge in Detroit has overturned Michigan's ban on gay marriage, come Monday morning at 8 a.m., the two women return to the courthouse to be married.

"Today was my mom's birthday, and she died many years ago. And I think she's up in heaven pulling strings so Deb and I can get married, because she loved Deb," said Loubert.

John Gleason is the Genesee County clerk.  He had said that if the ban was overturned he would issue marriage licenses.  On Friday night, he said he's sticking to his word.

"Democracy in America has taken very slow steps to include everyone," said Gleason.  "We're going to follow the law. We think that's the important thing to do."

But not everybody agrees with Friday's ruling.  Stacy Swimp is one of them.  He points to the election in 2004, when nearly 60 percent of voters approved a constitutional amendment that recognizes marriage only as between a man and a woman.

"Violating the voting rights of the people of Michigan is what I'm against, redefining marriage as God gave it, is what I'm against," said Swimp.

He joined pastors and other Christian leaders across the state who are vocal in opposition to gay marriage.

"I can't imagine that as long as human history has been here, that we've had it all wrong," said Swimp.

But Baldwin and Loubert are hoping the ruling sticks, putting a seal on the marriage they've wanted for a long time.

"If I'm going to get married, I want it to count," said Loubert.

"It's time for justice, time for equality," said Baldwin.

Friday evening, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed an emergency request for a stay and appeal of the federal judge's ruling.  No word yet on whether a judge will grant that.

Gleason told TV5 Monday morning starting at 8 a.m., he will issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  He said each person will need to bring an original copy of their birth certificate, driver's license, and $50 in fees.

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