In Focus: A History of The Hazel Park Couple’s Case For Equality

By |2013-10-08T09:00:00-04:00October 8th, 2013|Michigan, News|


On Oct. 16, District Court Judge Bernard Friedman is expected to rule on Hazel Park couple Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer’s lawsuit against Michigan and Oakland County for the right to jointly adopt their children and marry each other.
This highly anticipated ruling capstones a more-than-yearlong endeavor for the couple and potentially make Michigan the next Marriage Equality State.
Reexamine the couple’s historical struggle below:

Michigan: County Clerk Moves Out Of Way In Second Parent Adoption Case
Originally printed 2/21/2013 (Issue 2108 – Between The Lines News)
… (N)ow that Bullard is no longer in office, the new Oakland County Clerk, former State Representative Lisa Brown, will not be trying to stop the case from moving forward.

Judge Decides To Wait On Adoption And Gay Marriage Decision
Originally printed 3/7/2013 (Issue 2110 – Between The Lines News)
In a hearing held at the Wayne State University Law School Auditorium on March 7, Friedman listened to arguments from both sides, but said his ruling will come shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court hears two cases regarding same-gender marriage.

Hazel Park Moms Take Adoption Restrictions To Federal Level
Originally printed 3/29/2012 (Issue 2013 – Between The Lines News)
The State of Michigan doesn’t think that the federal courts should be allowed to compel them to accept second-parent adoption applications from unmarried individuals, but attorney Dana M. Nessel disagrees.

Judge Says Needs Time In Unmarried Adoption Case
Originally printed 9/6/2012 (Issue 2036 – Between The Lines News)
A judge says he needs time to decide whether to dismiss the lawsuit that challenges Michigan’s ban on adoption by unmarried couples.

Adoption Rights Suit Amended To Include Same-Sex Marriage
Originally printed 9/13/2012 (Issue 2037 – Between The Lines News)
… (B)ecause of remarks made by U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman, the couple amended their suit last week to include equal access to marriage. If successful, Michigan families could win both of these equality struggles with one suit.

Hazel Park Lesbian Couple’s Case Moves Forward
Originally printed 7/1/2013 (Issue 2126 – Between The Lines News)
Referencing the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Federal Judge Bernard Friedman has denied the State of Michigan’s motion to dismiss the case of a Hazel Park lesbian couple seeking to marry and to adopt their children.
Read The Full Opinion Here

Detroit Federal Judge Sets Oct. 1 For Arguments In Challenge To Mich. Ban On Gay Marriage
Originally printed 7/10/2013 (Issue 2126 – Between The Lines News)
Judge Bernard Friedman set the date Wednesday in what could be a ground-breaking lawsuit filed by two Detroit-area nurses who are lesbians.

FEATURE: Mommy Issues
Originally printed 5/9/2013 (Issue 2119 – Between The Lines News)
In a state like Michigan, which fails to treat families fairly, Mothers’ Day can be a hard reminder that some mothers are considered legal strangers to the children they love and are raising. The push to legalize second-parent adoption continues in Michigan, with a pending court case recently taking center stage nationally.

VIDEO: Hazel Park Case Could Pave The Way For Marriage, Adoption In Michigan
Originally printed 6/27/2013 (Issue 2126 – Between The Lines News)
As thousands of LGBT people awaited the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down key provisions of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), one Michigan family – and their legal team – was particularly anxious.

Is Michigan The Next Marriage Equality State?
Originally printed 7/11/2013 (Issue 2128 – Between The Lines News)
“Michigan is now at the epicenter of legal fallout from the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic decision to strike down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act …”

Clerk Brings In New Lawyers To ‘Defend’ In Hazel Park Couple’s Case
Originally printed 7/18/2013 (Issue 2129 – Between The Lines News)
Even though she is a defendant in the case, Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown wants to see the Hazel Park couple who is suing for the right to marry and adopt their children be successful.

State Answer To Hazel Park Couple And Kids: You Are Not A Family
Originally printed 7/24/2013 (Issue 2130 – Between The Lines News)
The State of Michigan answers the claims against them with a very simple defense: they are not a family and they do not have the right to be.

OP ED: Creep of the Week, Gov. Rick Snyder
Originally printed 8/1/2013 (Issue 2131 – Between The Lines News)
“Shame on you Governor Snyder for fighting against families like mine. For fighting against kids under the guise of “protecting” them when what kids really need protecting from is you and your policies.”

Worthy To Speak At Fundraiser For Adoption And Marriage Case
Originally printed 8/27/2013 (Issue 2134 – Between The Lines News)

Legislators Seek Roadblocks To Stop Gays From Adopting
Originally printed 9/12/2013 (Issue 2137 – Between The Lines News)
Republicans in Lansing are preparing to discuss the possibility for legalizing discrimination against LGBT people who want to adopt children.

VIDEO: Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy Steps Up To Support Hazel Park Couple
Originally printed 10/2/2013 (Issue 2139 – Between The Lines News)
… (O)ver 100 people gathered at Affirmations Community Center in Ferndale for a fundraiser last week. The keynote speaker for the event was Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

Groups Weigh In On Mich. Gay Marriage Case
Originally printed 10/3/2013 (Issue 2140 – Between The Lines News)
“If marriage is a fundamental right, then logic and emerging Supreme Court precedent dictate that the legitimacy of two adults’ love for one another is the same in the eyes of the law regardless of sexual orientation,” lawyers Carole Stanyar and Dana Nessel said in a recent filing.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.