DETROIT, MI- U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman today struck down Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage, making it the 18th state in the nation to allow same sex marriage.
The state argued that the ban should not be drowned out by a single judge. The state also argues that it had a “legitimate” interest in preserving the traditional family structure due to their claims that children thrive best when raised by married moms and dads.
Judge Bernard Friedman however sided with the plaintiffs in the case, two Hazel Park Lesbian nurses who argued that the state had no “rational basis” for denying them the right to get married and adopt each others’ children.
April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse filed their lawsuit in January 2012, initially raising only the adoption issue but then challenging the gay marriage prohibition as well.
Last fall Judge Friedman opted to hold a trial and give both sides the chance to present their arguments. Much of the evidence focused on same-sex parenting studies and child outcomes of children raised in such family structures.
The state’s experts claimed that their studies showed that children of same-sex couples have poorer outcomes than kids raised by married moms and dads while the plaintiffs’ studies showed no such findings.
Dana Nessell one of the plaintiffs attorneys argued;
Gays and lesbians and same-sex couples are just as confident, loving, nurturing and capable as their heterosexual counterparts, These loving couples deserve the right to marry and to adopt their children.
The state argued that the voters of Michigan already have spoken on the issue and that their decision should stand, based on the 2.7 million voters, who in 2004 decided that marriage is only to be between a man and a woman.
Dana Nessell went on to argue that patchwork of legislation involving same-sex marriage has led to chaos, specifically for same-sex couples who are legally recognized in one state, but then move to another and have no legal recognition. It is especially problematic come tax time, she said, noting same-sex couples, depending on where they live, have to file separately because their marriage is not recognized.
This has to be resolved, this can’t continue. You can’t have this patchwork system anymore.
With this ruling Michigan joines California, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine, Maryland, & Washington D.C. as states that allow Same-Sex Marriage.