Judge strikes down Michigan's ban on gay marriage - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Judge strikes down Michigan's ban on gay marriage

Posted: Updated:

DETROIT (AP) - Michigan's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, a federal judge said Friday as he struck down a law that was widely embraced by voters a decade ago - the latest in a recent series of decisions overturning similar laws across the country.
    
U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman announced his ruling after a rare two-week trial that mostly focused on the impact of same-sex parenting on children.
    
There was no indication that the judge was suspending his decision. Attorney General Bill Schuette said he was immediately filing a request with a federal appeals court to suspend Friedman's decision and prevent same-sex couples from immediately marrying. The decision was released shortly after 5 p.m., when most county clerk offices in Michigan were closed. Clerks issue marriage licenses.
    
Seventeen states and the District of Columbia issue licenses for same-sex marriage. Since December, bans on gay marriage have been overturned in Texas, Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia, but appeals have put those cases on hold.
    
Two Detroit-area nurses, Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer, want to get married, but the original purpose of their 2012 lawsuit was to overturn Michigan's ban on joint adoptions by same-sex couples.
    
They are raising three adopted children with special needs at their Hazel Park home. But they can't jointly adopt each other's kids because joint adoption in the state is tied exclusively to marriage.
    
Attorney Dana Nessel read portions of the decision on live TV at the kitchen table in the DeBoer-Rowse home.
    
"It's unbelievable," DeBoer said on television. "We got our day in court. We won."
    
Rowse, 49, and DeBoer, 42, didn't testify, and the trial had nothing to do with their relationship. In fact, attorneys for the state told the judge that they are great parents.
    
Instead, the state urged the judge to respect the results of a 2004 election in which 59 percent of voters said marriage in Michigan can only be between a man and a woman. Conservative scholars also questioned the impact of same-sex parenting on children.
    
But experts testifying for Rowse and DeBoer said there were no differences between the kids of same-sex couples and the children raised by a man and woman. And the University of Texas took the extraordinary step of disavowing the testimony of sociology professor Mark Regnerus, who was a witness for Michigan.

  • LocalMore>>

  • Teenager arrested for murder after 3 month search

    Teenager arrested for murder after 3 month search

    Saturday, August 23 2014 8:47 AM EDT2014-08-23 12:47:10 GMT
    After months without a break, a teenager is in jail, charged with a murder from May. Michael Gaston Junior is behind bars this morning. Toledo police and a swat team took him into custody yesterday. The murder itself happened in the middle of the day on Joffre in Toledo. In June, police charged Gaston with murder in the shooting death of Sheymarr Noble. Three others were wounded in that midday shooting.
    After months without a break, a teenager is in jail, charged with a murder from May. Michael Gaston Junior is behind bars this morning. Toledo police and a swat team took him into custody yesterday. The murder itself happened in the middle of the day on Joffre in Toledo. In June, police charged Gaston with murder in the shooting death of Sheymarr Noble. Three others were wounded in that midday shooting.
  • Authorities warn incoming students of potential campus crime

    Authorities warn incoming students of potential campus crime

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:23 PM EDT2014-08-23 03:23:42 GMT
     As college campuses welcome back thousands of students, campus police are getting ready for an increase in crime that inevitably happens each year. Authorities want to make sure students make their own safety a priority.
     As college campuses welcome back thousands of students, campus police are getting ready for an increase in crime that inevitably happens each year. Authorities want to make sure students make their own safety a priority.
  • Stop the violence: a new call to promote peace in Toledo

    Stop the violence: a new call to promote peace in Toledo

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:08 PM EDT2014-08-23 02:08:25 GMT
    Shawonna Wynn says she is constantly haunted by the thoughts and memories of her brother, Ricky Arnaz Layson. The 35-year-old was shot and killed on July 8 at R D Auto Sales on Lewis Avenue."I refuse to sit back and just be silent," says Shawonna. "Something has to happen, we can't just shake our heads anymore." Wynn organized Friday's event at the Infinity Lounge in his memory. The talent show, panel discussion, and poetry showcase focused on promoting peace."We can't just say something is ...
    Shawonna Wynn says she is constantly haunted by the thoughts and memories of her brother, Ricky Arnaz Layson. The 35-year-old was shot and killed on July 8 at R D Auto Sales on Lewis Avenue."I refuse to sit back and just be silent," says Shawonna. "Something has to happen, we can't just shake our heads anymore." Wynn organized Friday's event at the Infinity Lounge in his memory. The talent show, panel discussion, and poetry showcase focused on promoting peace."We can't just say something is ...
  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Teenager arrested for murder after 3 month search

    Teenager arrested for murder after 3 month search

    Saturday, August 23 2014 8:47 AM EDT2014-08-23 12:47:10 GMT
    After months without a break, a teenager is in jail, charged with a murder from May. Michael Gaston Junior is behind bars this morning. Toledo police and a swat team took him into custody yesterday. The murder itself happened in the middle of the day on Joffre in Toledo. In June, police charged Gaston with murder in the shooting death of Sheymarr Noble. Three others were wounded in that midday shooting.
    After months without a break, a teenager is in jail, charged with a murder from May. Michael Gaston Junior is behind bars this morning. Toledo police and a swat team took him into custody yesterday. The murder itself happened in the middle of the day on Joffre in Toledo. In June, police charged Gaston with murder in the shooting death of Sheymarr Noble. Three others were wounded in that midday shooting.
  • Motorcycle crash at Dorr and Byrne

    Motorcycle crash at Dorr and Byrne

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:09 PM EDT2014-08-23 03:09:43 GMT
    Police were called to the scene of a motorcycle crash Friday night. It happened at the intersection of Dorr and Byrne just after 10 p.m. Dispatch could only tell us that a car and motorcycle were involved in the crash. We're still waiting on information about injuries.
    Police were called to the scene of a serious motorcycle crash Friday night. It happened at the intersection of Dorr and Byrne just after 10 p.m.
  • 20,000 people expected at Toledo Pride Fest

    20,000 people expected at Toledo Pride Fest

    Friday, August 22 2014 9:49 PM EDT2014-08-23 01:49:06 GMT
    The fifth annual Toledo Pride Festival runs August 22-24. The festival features more than a dozen local and national bands, more than 75 food and merchandise vendors as well as a number of faith and community organizations.The goal of the event is to promote unity, acceptance and awareness of the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. The main event is Saturday, August 23 at Promenade Park. Other events throughout the weekend include the Pride Parade on Saturday morning, and ...
    The fifth annual Toledo Pride Festival runs August 22-24. The festival features more than a dozen local and national bands, more than 75 food and merchandise vendors as well as a number of faith and community organizations.The goal of the event is to promote unity, acceptance and awareness of the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. The main event is Saturday, August 23 at Promenade Park. Other events throughout the weekend include the Pride Parade on Saturday morning, and ...

Area Events Calendar

See It, Shoot It, Send It!