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Same-sex couples face uncertain future following emergency stay

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Hundreds of gay and lesbian couples--married in the 24 hours it was legal--now face an uncertain future.

On Saturday, a federal appeals court suspended same-sex marriage after a federal judge ruled the state's ban unconstitutional on Friday.

The appeals court is waiting for a response from the lesbian couple who filed the lawsuit against the state.

They have until Tuesday to respond.

Then, the appeals court will decide by Wednesday if the stay will remain in place while the appeal is heard.

It could take several months before the courts settle the issue once and for all.

Now couples look for answers as to what the stay means, and what comes next in the legal process.

The stay won't be lifted until at least Wednesday, and until then, Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette made it clear that the state will not recognize this weekend's marriages.

As the 300 newlyweds are left waiting, State Representative Brandon Dillon says the Governor is making a big mistake.

"I think the Governor's been really disingenuous on this," Rep. Dillon said. "He's trying to have it both ways; he says that appeals will go forward and we'll see what happens but the only way appeals go forward is if he directs them to go forward."

But Senator Rick Jones says it shouldn't be up to the state anyway.

"In 2004, there was a vote of the people; they voted no, they said a marriage is one man and one woman, it should go back on the ballot and let the people decide," he said.

Sen. Jones also adds that the people have better things to worry about.

"With most of my constituents, it simply wasn't a hot ticket item; they were more concerned about when are you gonna fix the potholes," he said.

In fact, Sen. Jones claims those who got married this weekend only did so to prove a point.

"I think the people that rushed out this Saturday just a few hours after the ruling--I think they were simply trying to make a statement and I would think that a marriage would be well planned, several weeks of planning at least," he said.

Monday, Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum, who issued 57 marriage licenses on Saturday sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, urging him to recognize the unions.