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PNS Daily Newscast - July 20, 2018.  


Trump now wants Putin to visit the White House this fall; Also on the Friday rundown: health insurance rates to rise by almost 9 percent in California; and as the climate crises reaches “Zero Hour” young people take a stand.

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300 Same-Sex Couples Celebrate 1st Anniversary, Await SCOTUS Ruling

PHOTO: Glenna DeJong and Marsha Caspar, shown here with Ingham County Clerk Barbara Byrum on their wedding day, were the first same-sex couple in Michigan history to legally wed. They will celebrate their first anniversary this weekend by continuing to fight for marriage equality in the state. Photo courtesy of B. Byrum.
PHOTO: Glenna DeJong and Marsha Caspar, shown here with Ingham County Clerk Barbara Byrum on their wedding day, were the first same-sex couple in Michigan history to legally wed. They will celebrate their first anniversary this weekend by continuing to fight for marriage equality in the state. Photo courtesy of B. Byrum.
March 20, 2015

LANSING, Mich. - It will be a bit of a bittersweet anniversary this weekend for the 300 same-sex couples in Michigan who legally married last year as they continue to fight for full marriage equality in the state.

Glenna DeJong and Marsha Caspar made Michigan history as the first same-sex couple in the state to legally wed. Given the legal and emotional roller coaster of the past year, DeJong said, some guilt goes with that honor.

"We're part of this exclusive club of just over 300 members who happened to be able to get married that day," she said. "We feel an obligation, I guess, to fight for those 14,000-plus other couples in Michigan who want to get married and just are excluded still."

Last March, a district court ruled Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, allowing a brief window in which more than 300 couples married before a circuit court stayed the decision. The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear testimony next month on the legality of bans on same-sex marriage in Michigan and three other states.

Michigan voters approved a ban on same-sex marriage in 2004, but DeJong said she truly feels that the tide of public opinion in the state has shifted dramatically since then. In the past year, she said, she has received plenty of feedback on her marriage from friends and strangers alike, all of it positive.

"They always say to me, 'This is just so ridiculous. I don't get why we don't allow same-sex marriage, why there's the discrimination, why you aren't treated equally,' " she said.

This week, a group of Democratic state lawmakers introduced a package of bills that would put a repeal of the state's constitutional ban before voters. This comes as the Republican-led state House approved bills that would allow adoption agencies to refuse service to same-sex or unmarried couples if that goes against the agencies' religious beliefs.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI