A federal judge on Thursday said he
would wait to see how the U.S. Supreme Court rules in two gay
marriage cases before deciding whether Michigan's marriage ban is
“I think it's worth the wait,” U.S.
District Judge Bernard Friedman is quoted as saying by the Detroit
Free Press during a hearing held on Thursday. “I don't
know what the Supreme Court is going to do.”
At the suggestion of Friedman, April
DeBoer and her partner Jayne Rowse of Hazel Park amended their
lawsuit seeking to jointly adopt their three foster children to
instead challenge the constitutionality of Michigan's 2004
voter-approved amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual unions.
Because they aren't married the couple cannot jointly adopt Nolan, 4,
Jacob, 3, and Ryanee, 3.
The case shares some similarities with
one of the two cases before the Supreme Court. In Hollingsworth
v. Perry, two gay couples are challenging the constitutionality
of Proposition 8, California's marriage ban approved by voters in
However, two stark differences exist in
the case. About 18,000 gay couples married before passage of
Proposition 8, after the California Supreme Court struck down the
state's statue excluding gay couples from marriage. And California
currently recognizes gay couples with domestic partnerships.
Michigan offers no recognition of the
unions of gay couples.
Michigan's attorney general's office has
asked the court to dismiss the suit, saying there is no “fundamental
right to same-sex marriage.”