Michigan Woman Raises Funds for Marriage Equality Case in Response to Indiana’s Homophobic Pizzeria
[dropcap letter=”A”]pril DeBoer and Jayne Rowse are a loving lesbian couple from Michigan who have been in a committed relationship for more than 10 years. Both women are nurses who work for Detroit-area hospitals. Together, they’re mothers to four special-needs children who they took in as foster parents after the children were either abandoned or surrendered at birth. April and Jayne wished to adopt these children together, but were prevented from doing so because Michigan’s adoption code prohibits unmarried couples from adopting children jointly. Michigan law also bans same-sex couples from marrying, leaving April and Jayne with no opportunity for joint legal rights to the children they are raising together. April adopted the couple’s two daughters while Jayne adopted their two sons.
April and Jayne took legal action to seek the same protections for their children that are afforded to opposite-sex couples. Subsequently, they included in their case, a challenge to the same-sex marriage ban in Michigan. DeBoer v. Snyder is their federal court challenge to Michigan’s laws forbidding same-sex marriage and same-sex second-parent adoptions.
It’s a costly process to take a case to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, bigots are almost at the million-dollar mark in contributions via a GoFundMe page celebrating a pizzeria in Indiana for refusing to allow gay marriages in the name of faith.
That’s when Lori Pimlott-Calvin, a friend of April and Jayne’s, decided to launch a GoFundMe of her own with the sole purpose of supporting the legal funds of the DeBoer v. Snyder case, which has now become known as the National Marriage Challenge.
“We owe our being able to marry to them,” Pimlott-Calvin tells Equally Wed. “We just want them to be able to marry and take care of their family. They initiated the case in Michigan. They’ve sacrificed so much. They could have gotten married when it was overturned for that short span of time in March 2014. But if they had, it would have nullified the whole case. So they took one for the girls, so to speak.”
Pimlott-Calvin and her partner were interviewed by a Detroit Fox News affiliate about their GoFundMe fundraiser for April and Jayne’s case, where all of the funds raised will go directly to the National Marriage Challenge.