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Michigan lesbian who gave post-wedding TV interview is attacked

(Reuters) - A search is on for three men accused of knocking a woman unconscious in an apparent anti-gay attack less than two weeks after she gave a television interview about her marriage, authorities in Michigan said on Tuesday.

The 28-year-old woman and her partner were wed on March 22 in Washtenaw County, one of four counties that briefly allowed same-sex nuptials after a federal judge struck down the Michigan ban on same-sex nuptials.

The woman was confronted by three men after she got off a bus on Monday evening close to her home near Ypsilanti, Michigan, about 35 miles west of Detroit, the Washtenaw County Sheriff's office said.

"Hey bitch, are you that faggot from the news?" the woman recalled one of the men saying to her, said Derrick Jackson, a spokesman for the sheriff's office.

She was then punched in the face and fell to the ground unconscious, Jackson said.

The woman said she regained consciousness while she was being kicked in the abdomen, and then the men ran off, Jackson said.

She was treated at an area hospital for bruises and swelling to her face and abdomen and released, he said.

The woman said she rides the same bus almost every day and did not recognize the attackers, he said.

She and her partner were one of more than 300 couples around the state who sought licenses on Saturday, March 22, and her image was broadcast on local television, Jackson said.

A federal appeals court stayed the judge's ruling later on Saturday and same-sex marriages in Michigan have been halted until an appeal is heard.

Seventeen states plus the District of Columbia now allow gay marriage, a number that would be substantially increased if a series of recent federal court decisions are upheld in Michigan, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma and Virginia.

(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Gunna Dickson)

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