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Taxpayers could owe nearly $2 million in legal costs after Michigan loses gay marriage fight

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DETROIT — Lawyers who won a historic legal battle to strike down Michigan's ban on gay marriage are seeking nearly $2 million from the state.

Under federal law, there seems to be no dispute that lawyers for April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse are entitled to payment from taxpayers. Attorney General Bill Schuette vigorously opposed their challenge to Michigan's 2004 ban on gay marriage, which was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

It's up to Detroit federal Judge Bernard Friedman to determine what's reasonable for the legal team. Schuette will have an opportunity to respond.

In a court filing Saturday, attorneys for the Detroit-area nurses say the case was "novel, complex and difficult." It lasted three years and included a trial in Detroit.

The main lawyers were Carole Stanyar, Dana Nessel, Ken Mogill and Mary Bonauto.

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