Editor’s note: A press conference will be held at Affirmations Community Center in Ferndale approximately 2 hours after the ruling is posted online according to attorneys for the plaintiffs.
A journey that began over two years ago awaits a critical decision today for a Hazel Park couple and the tens of thousands of LGBT citizens across Michigan long denied full equality under the law. Hazel Park nurses April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse are the plaintiffs in a case that may strike down the ban on same sex marriage in Michigan – a ban enacted in 2004 when voters amended the state constitution.
The couple brought their case to Federal court in 2012 challenging the adoption laws in the state. Those laws prevented them from co-adopting one another’s children. At the urging of U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman, they later amended their suit to include a request to strike down the ban on same sex marriage.
No matter which side wins in the case today, the issue will go before the U.S. 6th Circuit court of Appeals and eventually may be the case that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court where experts say the definitive ruling on same sex marriage will be decided.
Friedman is expected to issue a stay pending appeal – but for the first time in a decade, LBBT people and allies can rejoice in the possible headline of BAN STRUCK DOWN. Depending on the judge’s decision, Michigan could become the 18th state in the nation to legalize gay marriage.