Michigan could be the next state to overturn the ban on same-sex marriages.


A federal judge could rule as early as today on Michigan’s marriage equality lawsuit, according to The Detroit News:

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman is weighing the legal claims of a lawsuit filed by Hazel Park nurses April DeBoer, 42, and Jayne Rowse, 49, who are living as a couple and raising three special needs children they adopted as individuals.

They are asking him to lift both the bans on same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples so they can adopt each other’s children.

University of Detroit Mercy law school professor Lawrence Dubin says although Michigan residents voted in 2004 to pass a law requiring marriage be between a man and a woman, Friedman could find the state ban still violates the law.

“If the judge finds that the will of the people as voted in the referendum violated the plaintiff’s civil rights, the state law would yield to the federal constitution,” said Dubin on Wednesday.

Dubin added that if Friedman rules in favor of the two plaintiffs, he believes the judge will issue a stay of his ruling that would prevent clerks in counties around the state from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples pending a decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

Royal Oak attorney Amanda Shelton said she will be “shocked” if Friedman did not issue a stay.

“I think it’s going to go in our favor, but I think what he is going to say is let the court of appeals ultimately decide it,” said Shelton, who also is seeking to legally marry her spouse, Kay, if the ban is lifted.

Shelton said she also has three cases dealing with same-sex marriage and custody issues that she is looking forward to filing in Michigan courts if the bans are lifted.


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