Michigan's 2004 gay marriage ban headed to trial

Thu. October 17, 2013 7:36 AM by OnTopMag.com

Detroit, MI - U.S. District Court Judge Bernard Friedman on Wednesday told plaintiffs in a case challenging Michigan's ban on gay marriage that he will hold a trial on the issue.

Plaintiffs had hoped that Friedman would issue a ruling after holding a brief hearing in downtown Detroit.

Instead, Friedman told both sides that some factual issues must be decided before he can issue an opinion.He scheduled a preliminary hearing for February 25.

"I'm in the middle," said Friedman, who opened the hearing by acknowledging that he was nervous. "I have to decide this as a matter of law. I intend to do so."

Plaintiffs in the case are a lesbian couple looking to jointly adopt their three foster children – Nolan, 4, Jacob, 3, and Ryanne, 3 – but who cannot because of the state's 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.

At the suggestion of Friedman, April DeBoer, 42, and Jayne Rowse, 48, of Hazel Park amended their lawsuit to also challenge the state's marriage ban.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine