MUSKEGON, MI (WHTC) - A Holland-based minister went north of the Ottawa County line to conduct some same-sex weddings.
For about 24 hours, homosexual couples in Michigan were given the legal right to tie the knot after a late Friday afternoon ruling, with immediate effect, by federal Judge Bernard Friedman that struck down the state law because it had violated the 14th amendment to the US Constitution. By the time the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals of Cincinnati issued a temporary stay on Saturday evening, dozens of same-sex unions were conducted in several counties, including Muskegon, where Pastor Bill Freeman of the Harbor Unitarian Universalist Congregation presided over about 50 marriages.
He is leaving that church in August, but remains the chaplain of the All Spirits Church (formerly the Interfaith Congregation) in Holland, where he couldn’t conduct any same-sex marriages, as clerks Dan Krueger of Ottawa County and Joyce Watts of Allegan County were waiting guidance on the matter from state Attorney General Bill Schuette, who is leading the appeals process of Judge Friedman’s ruling. The appeals court will hear the matter on Wednesday, with the legality of all of Saturday’s same-sex marriages currently on hold.