Judge Scraps Michigan's Ban on Gay Marriage

Lesbian partners win right to wed, adopt each others' kids

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 21, 2014 4:36 PM CDT | Updated Mar 21, 2014 4:44 PM CDT

(Newser) – A big court ruling this afternoon sets up Michigan to become the 18th state to allow gay marriage. A federal court judge struck down the state's 2004 ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional, reports the Detroit Free Press. The judge sided with lesbian plaintiffs April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, who want to marry and adopt each others' children. (All three are adopted kids with special needs.) The couple filed suit in 2012, and today's ruling also strikes down the state's ban on adoption by same-sex couples, reports the Detroit News.

Unlike judges in similar cases, US District Judge Bernard Friedman did not stay his ruling pending appeal. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed an emergency request to have the ruling put on hold, and he's still awaiting a decision on that from the 6th Circuit Court. In the meantime, gay couples are free to wed. (Update: Some have begun doing so already.)

April DeBoer, left, and her partner Jayne Rowse hold hands after closing arguments in their trial on March 7.
April DeBoer, left, and her partner Jayne Rowse hold hands after closing arguments in their trial on March 7.   (AP Photo/Detroit Free Press, Mandi Wright)
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