Judge: No Ruling On Same-Sex Unions Before Summer

Mar 7, 2013

A decision on whether Michigan’s gay marriage ban is constitutional will wait until this summer. A federal judge in Detroit says he wants to see how the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a pair of gay marriage cases before he makes his ruling.

The case from Michigan started out as a case on adoption rights for same-sex couples. Jayne Rouse and April DeBoer are raising three children together. But under the law, they don’t share joint legal rights and responsibilities.   

An emotional April DeBoer says she’s disappointed there was no ruling after the hearing, but she remains hopeful.

“We will wait until June and see what the Supreme Court has to say and that we will finally get the rights to our children,” she says.

“We ultimately do want what’s best for our kids,” says Rouse. “The bigger issue is there. I do think the Supreme Court will bring some clarity, hopefully, to everybody’s life and he will rule for us in June.”

A decision to strike down the marriage amendment would also settle the adoption question.

Jay Kaplan, with the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT Project, says he was hoping at least for a ruling on adoption rights for same-sex couples.

“Regardless of the issue of the right to marry, the court can decide that there is a right to adopt – that the decision on whether or not these children should have two parents should be based on the best interests of the children, not the marital status of the parents,” he says.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on its gay marriage cases in June. If Michigan’s’ same-sex marriage ban is upheld, gay rights advocates are preparing to take the issue to voters in 2014 or 2016.

The state attorney general argued in court Thursday that marriage is not a basic right, and so changing laws about marriage and adoption should be left to the Legislature or voters.