Trial to Begin on Michigan Gay Marriage Ban [VIDEO]
Will Michigan uphold its ban on gay marriage, or overturn the state's constitutional amendment put in place by voters in 2004? A trial which begins today (2/25) in federal court should decide the matter in about two weeks. US District Judge Bernard Friedman will hear from both sides, at a hearing which is slated for the Federal Court House in Detroit.
The case began in 2012 when Detroit-area nurses April Deboer and Jayne Rowse challenged Michigan's adoption laws, saying it violates their rights to equal protection under the US Constitution. Under Michigan law, Deboer and Rowse were not able to jointly adopt their three children. The scope of the case was later expanded to include a challenge to Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage, at His Honor's invitation.
Adopted children, who may otherwise stay in the foster care system, could be given better lives if same-sex partners are given the right to joint adoption.
Lawyers for the couple are expected to present evidence that proves children from same-sex marriages are cared for just as well as children raised by a mother and father. Adopted children, who may otherwise stay in the foster care system, could be given better lives if same-sex partners are given the right to joint adoption.
Those opposed to overturning the ban will likely argue that children of same-sex couples have a higher substance-abuse rate, get divorced more often, and are more likely to suffer from depression. A number of religious leaders are also expected to weigh in against the issue.
Federal judges have recently struck down same-sex marriage bans in Utah, Virginia, and Oklahoma. Gay marriage is now legal in 17 US states and the District of Columbia.