Judge to rule soon on challenge to Mich. same-sex marriage ban - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Judge to rule soon on challenge to Mich. same-sex marriage ban

Posted: Updated:
Jayne Rowse and April Deboer Jayne Rowse and April Deboer
DETROIT (WJBK) -

April Deboer and Jayne Rowse set out to jointly adopt their three precious children, but Michigan law will not let them. Why? They are lesbians, and Michigan law will not let them get married. So at the invitation of federal court judge Bernard Friedman, they are challenging Michigan's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

"It has always been about our kids and our kids' rights. It is still about that first and foremost," said Rowse.

Judge Friedman said he would rule on Michigan law once the Supreme Court did so. The Supreme Court's ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act addresses some of the same issues, saying DOMA humiliates and brings financial harm to the children of same-sex couples, raises the cost of healthcare for families, and denies benefits afforded to heterosexual families, exactly what this Michigan case is fighting for.

"As it is in Michigan right now, there is no possibility for any type of legal recognition for April and Jayne or for any families like theirs, and that's why this case is so important," said attorney Dana Nessel.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette released a statement saying, "The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states, not the federal government, retain the constitutional authority to define marriage. Michigan's Constitution stands, and the will of the people to define marriage as between one man and one woman endures in the Great Lakes State."

It is true the Supreme Court said states have authority over marriage, but it must not be in violation of basic rights.

"State laws defining and regulating marriage must respect the constitutional rights of persons," said Wayne State University constitutional law expert Robert Sedler. "Today's decision in the DOMA case provides strong support for the claim that Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage violates equal protection."

Whatever happens in the Michigan case, it will be appealed, but the attorneys believe they will ultimately be successful if they have to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court.

"We have the worse laws in the country. It makes for an easier challenge. So we have no domestic partnerships, we have no civil unions, and so for that reason, this case is really the cleanest case that could go up through the court system," Nessel said.

But for now, the next move belongs to Judge Bernard Friedman, and a ruling is expected within the next few weeks.

"We're hoping that Judge Friedman has received the answers that he needs and the guidance that he needs to overturn this so that our children have the same rights as everybody else," Deboer said.

  • Amy LangeMore from Amy LangeMore>>

  • Three arrested after military reservist killed during carjacking

    Three arrested after military reservist killed during carjacking

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:01:39 GMT
    A third suspect is under arrest in the carjacking and murder of a young man outside the Superland Market at Schoolcraft Road and Rutland Street Monday night.
    A third suspect is under arrest in the carjacking and murder of a young man outside the Superland Market at Schoolcraft Road and Rutland Street Monday night.
  • Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:10 PM EDT2014-07-29 16:10:35 GMT
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
  • Charges to be determined after teen dies in car crash

    Charges to be determined after teen dies in car crash

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:59 PM EDT2014-07-28 23:59:07 GMT
    Seven teenagers were on their way back from a bonfire late Friday night. A 16-year-old girl was behind the wheel of the Ford Expedition with her mom also in the car.
    Seven teenagers were on their way back from a bonfire late Friday night. A 16-year-old girl was behind the wheel of the Ford Expedition with her mom also in the car.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Attorney wants investigation of city clerk over Arab-American voter suppression

    Attorney wants investigation of city clerk over Arab-American voter suppression

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:43 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:43:20 GMT
    It is the tale of two cities. one paints a picture of a meticulous Dearborn Heights city clerk, following the law and fighting for a fair election. The other a story of abuse of power, mishandled ballots and voter suppression.Fatima Abdrabboh is an attorney and Michigan's director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee the largest chapter in the country. She is calling for a full-scale investigation into claims that Walter Prusiewicz mishandled ballots from Arab-American voters fo...
    It is the tale of two cities. one paints a picture of a meticulous Dearborn Heights city clerk, following the law and fighting for a fair election. The other a story of abuse of power, mishandled ballots and voter suppression.Fatima Abdrabboh is an attorney and Michigan's director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee the largest chapter in the country. She is calling for a full-scale investigation into claims that Walter Prusiewicz mishandled ballots from Arab-American voters fo...
  • Warren grandparents upset after grandchildren see racist graffiti at park

    Warren grandparents upset after grandchildren see racist graffiti at park

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:15:40 GMT
    Tuesday afternoon Bruce and Lubertha Callaway took their grandchildren to Shaw Park in Warren when they saw something they couldn't believe.
    Tuesday afternoon Bruce and Lubertha Callaway took their grandchildren to Shaw Park in Warren when they saw something they couldn't believe.
  • 3-year-old shocked, downed power lines electrify fence

    3-year-old shocked, downed power lines electrify fence

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:51 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:51:19 GMT
    A 3-year-old boy is in the hospital after getting shocked by an electrical charge.
    A 3-year-old boy is in the hospital after getting shocked by an electrical charge.
Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices