PLYMOUTH TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJBK) –
A federal judge is expected to make a decision this week that could eventually overturn on Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Judge Bernard Friedman of the U.S. District Court is expected to hear arguments on the legality of the ban during a hearing Thursday morning at Wayne St. University.
A lesbian couple from Ferndale, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, originally filed suit last year in their fight to jointly adopt their three special needs children. “There’s no way for them to both adopt the children together as a couple which leads to endless complications,” said the couple’s attorney Dana Nessel.
Friedman encouraged the couple to instead challenge the state’s definition of marriage. He said that’s really the underlying issue in their quest for joint adoption.
DeBoer and Rowse were certified by the state as a couple to foster the children, but the state only allowed them to adopt them as individuals. They want their children to have two legal parents.
“For the parent who cannot adopt the other child, they essentially nothing but a legal stranger to that child just like any other person on the street as opposed to someone who’s raised this child since the day he or she was born,” said Nessel.
The Michigan Marriage Amendment to the state Constitution, approved by voters in 2004.