The state of Michigan's first witness
in a challenge to the state's gay marriage ban was thrown out on
U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman
said that Sherif Girgis, a Princeton-educated philosophy expert and
co-author of What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, had
nothing to offer the case.
“He's very eloquent … but right
now, all he is offering to us is mainly his opinions,” Friedman
said of Girgis. “The court does not believe … that he should be
allowed to testify.”
Attorneys for the plaintiffs, a lesbian
couple wishing to marry so that they may jointly adopt their three
foster children, argued that Girgis is not a lawyer, child
development expert, psychologist or expert in Michigan law.
Testimony heard during the trial's
first week looked at gender roles and procreation as each relates to
marriage. Experts testified that children need good parents,
regardless of sexual orientation or gender.
gay marriage trial looks at gender roles, procreation.)
The state's first witness, Mark
Regnerus, an associate professor of sociology at the University of
Texas at Austin, testified for more than three hours.
Regnerus is the lead author of a widely
criticized 2012 study which concluded that children are negatively
affected by having gay parents. The study was funded by the socially
conservative New Jersey-based Witherspoon Institute.
While Regnerus has acknowledged that
his study did not include children raised by gay couples in a stable
relationship, he defended his work and insisted that the state was
right in questioning whether gay couples make good parents.
“Until we get more more evidence, we
should be skeptical,” Regnerus
said. “It's prudent for the state to retain its definition of
marriage to one man, one woman.”
Last month, Regnerus told a university
audience that allowing gays to marry will lead to straight men
demanding open relationships.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs will
cross-examine Regnerus on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Oakland County Clerk Lisa
Brown on Monday said that if Friedman overturns the ban, her office
would immediately start issuing marriage license to gay couples, the
Free Press reported.