Attorney General Bill Schuette has filed a petition with the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals requesting they bypass an initial panel hearing and instead hold a single “en banc” hearing before the full panel of 15 judges on gay marriages in Michigan. The appeals court voted 2-1 last month to extend its temporary stay on same-sex marriages until formal arguments are heard in the case. Schuette says advancing the state's case to a hearing before the entire panel of Sixth Circuit judges will move the case forward more quickly, and minimize delays in ultimately reaching the U.S. Supreme Court. The stay issued by the Appeals Court temporarily halted marriages among same-sex couples following U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman's ruling that Michigan’s bans on gay marriage and same-sex adoption violate the U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection Clause. Governor Rick Snyder says that the 300 or so same-sex marriages that took place in four counties before the stay was issued are legal, however they won't be recognized by the state until the stay is lifted or the decision that threw out the gay marriage ban is upheld on appeal. (Michigan Radio Network)