Judge hearing arguments on legality of state's gay marriage ban - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Judge hearing arguments on legality of Michigan's ban on gay marriage

Posted: Updated:
Rowse (left) and DeBoer (right) arrive at Wayne St. University on Thursday morning. Rowse (left) and DeBoer (right) arrive at Wayne St. University on Thursday morning.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

A federal judge is hearing arguments on the legality of Michigan's ban on gay marriage.

Judge Bernard Friedman of the U.S. District Court is holding court Thursday at Wayne State University law school. The state attorney general is asking Friedman to dismiss the case, saying same-sex marriage is not a fundamental legal right.

Friedman hasn't indicated when he'll make a decision. Follow the hearing live with live Twitter updates from @langeamyFOX2.

The legal challenge began after a lesbian couple from Ferndale, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, filed suit last year in their fight to jointly adopt their three special needs children. "There's no way for them to both adopt the children together as a couple which leads to endless complications," said the couple's attorney Dana Nessel.

Friedman encouraged the couple to instead challenge the state's definition of marriage. He said that's really the underlying issue in their quest for joint adoption.

DeBoer and Rowse were certified by the state as a couple to foster the children, but the state only allowed them to adopt them as individuals. They want their children to have two legal parents.

"For the parent who cannot adopt the other child, they essentially nothing but a legal stranger to that child just like any other person on the street as opposed to someone who's raised this child since the day he or she was born," said Nessel.

The Michigan Marriage Amendment to the state Constitution, approved by voters in 2004.

  • Amy LangeMore from Amy LangeMore>>

  • Union activist pleads guilty to federal crimes

    Union activist pleads guilty to federal crimes

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 9:16 PM EDT2014-09-03 01:16:54 GMT
    He's the activist known for filing lawsuits to stop what he believes is government wrongdoing. But now attorney Robert Davis is pleading guilty to federal crimes.
    He's the activist known for filing lawsuits to stop what he believes is government wrongdoing. But now attorney Robert Davis is pleading guilty to federal crimes.
  • Gay teacher says she was fired by Catholic school for being pregnant

    Gay teacher says she was fired by Catholic school for being pregnant

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:02 PM EDT2014-09-02 23:02:29 GMT
    Barbara Webb and Kristen Lasecki were married two years ago and are expecting a baby. Webb is now pregnant and she no longer has her teaching job at Bloomfield Hills Marian High School because of it.
    Barbara Webb and Kristen Lasecki were married two years ago and are expecting a baby. Webb is now pregnant and she no longer has her teaching job at Bloomfield Hills Marian High School because of it.
  • Former SMART employee's lawsuit battle drags on after 10 years

    Former SMART employee's lawsuit battle drags on after 10 years

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:49 PM EDT2014-08-28 03:49:24 GMT
    The case was originally about workplace discrimination. Now it's dragged on for more than a decade despite the case appearing to be one that the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation can't win.
    The case was originally about workplace discrimination. Now it's dragged on for more than a decade despite the case appearing to be one that the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation can't win.
Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices