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Federal Appeals Court Upholds Michigan’s Traditional Marriage Laws

Yesterday in a 2-1 decision, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Cincinnati, decided to uphold laws banning same sex marriage in Michigan, as well as in Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Two Michigan plaintiffs from Hazel Park – nurses April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse (in the case of DeBoer v. Snyder) had challenged the Great Lakes States’ ban on adoption by same-sex couples, so the lesbian couple could jointly adopt their children.

After the ruling was made public, DeBoer and Rowse held a press conference in Ferndale.

“We’re going to fight for the rights of our children and do whatever it takes to ensure our children have rights here in Michigan,” said DeBoer.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder also released a statement. “The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the language in our state’s constitution. This means there is no change in Michigan’s marriage laws. As I have previously stated, the same-sex couples who married at county clerk offices in the period between U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman’s ruling in March and the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ temporary stay of that ruling, were legally married.”

“However, the Court of Appeals decision does not allow for state benefits of marriage for those same-sex couples in accordance with our state constitution. That decision only can be changed if today’s Appeals Court ruling is overturned,” Snyder added.

The Michigan Constitution was amended in 2004, by the voters, to read that the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose.

An appeal of the decision, to the U.S. Supreme Court, is anticipated.

Photo: Detroit News’ video screenshot of DeBoer/Rowse press conference

Izzy Lyman

Izzy Lyman is the Michigan editor for Watchdog Wire. She lives in Petoskey. She can be reached at michigan@watchdogwire.com. Twitter: @IzzyLyman

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