Judge Orders Trial Over Michigan Gay Marriage Ban

Jul 1, 2013

A federal judge is allowing a legal challenge to Michigan adoption laws and its ban on same-sex marriage to go forward. The judge turned down the state’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.

In a written order, Judge Bernard Friedman says the U.S. Supreme Court decision last week striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act has left unanswered questions that could be addressed by this case.

April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse are a lesbian couple raising three children together.  They say the marriage ban and the fact that they cannot jointly adopt violates the equal protection rights of their children. The state says it’s up to voters or the Legislature to enact any changes to adoption laws or the 2004 amendment to the state constitution.

One question Judge Friedman has said he’d like to settle is whether marriage is a “fundamental right.” The judge called a July 10th hearing to chart the next steps in the case.