Judge strikes down Michigan's ban on gay marriage

DETROIT (AP) — A judge has struck down Michigan's ban on gay marriage, the latest in a series of decisions overturning similar laws across the country.

Federal Judge Bernard Friedman ruled Friday, two weeks after a trial. Two Detroit-area nurses who've been partners for eight years claimed the ban violated their rights under the U.S. Constitution.

But unlike cases in other states, Friedman didn't suspend his decision while the Michigan attorney general appeals. That means clerks could start issuing licenses Monday unless a higher court intervenes.

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia issue licenses for same-sex marriage. Since December, bans on gay marriage have been overturned in Texas, Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia, but appeals have put those cases on hold.