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Wednesday afternoon, over 150 people stood outside of Detroit’s Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse in support of Hazel Park couple Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer.
The couple is anticipating U.S. District Court Judge Bernard Friedman to rule today their lawsuit against Michigan and Oakland County for the right to jointly adopt their children and marry each other.
“There has already been talks of appeal, and we are probably going to go to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals,” Deboer said. “Beyond that we have no idea … We know we have a long fight but we’re hoping that we start an answer today.”
When asked how it felt coming to the courthouse today, Deboer laughed and replied “It’s a little overwhelming.”
“It’s very overwhelming,” Rowse added. “It’s not what we expected of course, but I’m glad so many people turned out – I hope they’re not missing work or school.”
Wendy DeBoer, April’s mother, also attended the rally and spoke.
“The U.S. Constitution was written for all people, not a select group,” Wendy DeBoer said. “This is the time and place for all to be protected under the Constitution, no matter how many laws are passed that exclude – exclusions such as my beautiful grandchildren, who don’t have the same rights as my three other beautiful grandchildren because their births’ circumstances were different.”
Rowse and DeBoer’s attorney, Dana Nessel said that if the ruling is in the couple’s favor, even if the ruling is stayed there will be a small window of opportunity for same-sex couples to legally get married in Michigan.
It may be only a matter of moments before the ruling is suspended, but before then couples can go to their county clerks’ offices and request to be married.
To better assist same-sex couples eager to marry, Equality Michigan has compiled a comprehensive list of which counties will be issuing licenses immediately following the ruling.