A U.S. Circuit Court judge has delayed his decision in a shocking case that could overturn Michigan‘s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and make marriage equality the law of the land. U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman today announced he is postponing his decision — which some were expecting today — and waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on the Prop 8 and DOMA cases it will hear later this month.
The case itself, of two lesbian parents raising three special needs children they were forced to adopt separately, as Michigan does not allow same-sex couples to adopt, originally contested only Michigan’s adoption law, but the judge himself suggested the couple, who are both nurses, April Deboer and her partner Jayne Rowse (image, above, with their three children,) challenge the state’s nine-year old constitutional ban on marriage for same-sex couples.
Jean Ann Esselink, a contributing author at The New Civil Rights Movement, reports Judge Friedman said he would find the Supreme Court decisions, which are expected in June, “instructive” and that it wouldn’t be fair to either party to rule until the Supreme Court ruled. The attorney for April Deboer and Jayne Rowse, Carol Staynor, asked for a chance to change his mind, saying this case has different facts than the cases the Supreme Court will be hearing later this month. Judge Friedman declined.
And in fact, the state of Michigan’s entire argument in the case rests on this paragraph submitted to the Court:
“Michigan’s limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples is rationally related to legitimate state interests—the preservation of the historic institution of marriage as a union of one man and one woman, which in turn, uniquely fosters responsible natural procreation, which in turn, promotes raising children in a home environment with both a mother and a father. Opposite-sex marriages have been recognized as promoting these ‘long-standing societal benefits’ because they are the only sexual relationship capable of producing children.”
The New Civil Rights Movement has been reporting on the case, which has gotten amazingly little media attention, despite its possibility of overturning a constitutional ban, since its inception.
For more, read The New Civil Rights Movement’s Jean Ann Esselink‘s reports:
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