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Gay Marriage Is In Limbo In Michigan, But These Couples Couldn't Wait To Say 'I Do'

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PONTIAC, MI - MARCH 22: Roland Smith (L) and Paul Mattson (R) of Farmington Hills, MI.,  get married at the Oakland County Courthouse on March 22, 2014 in Pontiac, Michigan. A Federal judge overturned Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage on Friday, March 21, 2014. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
PONTIAC, MI - MARCH 22: Roland Smith (L) and Paul Mattson (R) of Farmington Hills, MI., get married at the Oakland County Courthouse on March 22, 2014 in Pontiac, Michigan. A Federal judge overturned Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage on Friday, March 21, 2014. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

A day after a federal judge struck down Michigan's gay marriage ban, same-sex marriage was put on hold by a federal appeals court. However, in the few hours that same-sex marriage was legal, hundreds of couples lined up to exchange vows.

According to the New York Times, about 300 couples were married when several county clerks across the state opened for special hours Saturday, including newlyweds Jason McIntosh and Jim Shaffer of Pleasant Ridge. Though their status is unclear now that 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals put the original ruling on hold, McIntosh has no regrets about getting married.

"We didn't even hesitate," he told The Huffington Post. "We'd rather be in limbo than waiting."

michigan gay marriage
Jason McIntosh, left, and Jim Shaffer hold their daughter Norah, 3 mo., while being married in a group by the Oakland County Clerk in Pontiac, Mich., Saturday, March 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

He and Shaffer didn't know they'd be getting married until Saturday, when they woke up and found out clerks would be issuing licenses. They raced to the office with their 3-month-old daughter, got a license and were married in a ceremony with 19 other couples -- and McIntosh's parents watching by a video call from a cell phone -- by the afternoon.

"It was a pretty big celebration, every license that was given there was cheering for each couple that walked past," McIntosh said. "It felt special to be part of that historic day."


Flickr photo of couples at Washtenaw County Clerk's office by Kelly Kline.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman ruled that Michigan's ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional. Shortly after, state Attorney General Bill Schuette sought an appeal and a request for a stay. On Saturday, same-sex marriages were suspended while the appeals court considers his request.

Plaintiffs Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer, who have until Tuesday to file a rebuttal, filed the original lawsuit seeking legal protection for their three adopted children. That resonated particularly strongly with McIntosh, who is in the final stages of the adoption process with Shaffer and daughter Norah.

They hope they can eventually adopt her as co-parents, but on their current paperwork one parent is listed as simply "other person in the home," McIntosh said.

"That was hard to accept, seeing that in writing," said McIntosh, who has been with Shaffer for 11 years. "It's not like we needed validation from anyone else, but... I just really felt like we left that courthouse like a real family, not just two men who had adopted a baby."

According to the Associated Press, some couples who had marriage ceremonies are already facing new challenges stemming from their uncertain status, like Secretary of State offices denying individuals who attempted to change their names on drivers licenses.

michigan gay marriage
Same-sex couples get married in a group ceremony at the Oakland County Courthouse on March 22, 2014 in Pontiac, Michigan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

On Monday, Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum issued 57 marriage licenses Saturday, urged U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to recognize the same-sex marriages performed Saturday.

"Today we’re asking Attorney General Holder to declare the marriages lawful and eligible for all relevant federal benefits because it’s unfathomable that these individuals face any further discrimination," Byrum said in a statement.

Below, see more photos of couples who couldn't wait to get married.


Flickr photo of couples at Washtenaw County Clerk's office by Kelly Kline.


Flickr photo of couples at Washtenaw County Clerk's office by Kelly Kline.

michigan gay marriage
Pennye Mattson, right, places a wedding ring on Sherrie Tyler, left, while being married in a group by the Oakland County Clerk in Pontiac, Mich., Saturday, March 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)


Flickr photo of couples at Washtenaw County Clerk's office by Kelly Kline.

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Amanda Bindes (L) and Angelica Schrab (R) of Farmington Hills, Michigan, fill out their application for a marriage license at the Oakland County Courthouse on March 22, 2014 in Pontiac, Michigan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

michigan gay marriage
Kat White, left, and Sue Walton hug after being married in a group ceremony by the Oakland County Clerk in Pontiac, Mich., Saturday, March 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

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Cathy Fisher (L) and Laurie Fisher (R) get married at the Oakland County Courthouse on March 22, 2014 in Pontiac, Michigan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

michigan gay marriage
Elizabeth Gardiner, left, and Stephanie Citron kiss after being married in a hallway at the Oakland County Clerk in Pontiac, Mich., Saturday, March 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

michigan
Justin Flowers, left, and Josh Redder kiss after being married by Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown at the Oakland County Clerk's office in Pontiac, Mich., Saturday, March 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

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