U.S. District Court Judge Bernard
Friedman on Wednesday told plaintiffs in a case challenging
Michigan's ban on gay marriage that he will hold a trial on the
Plaintiffs had hoped that Friedman
would issue a ruling after holding a brief hearing in downtown
Instead, Friedman told both sides that
some factual issues must be decided before he can issue an opinion.
He scheduled a preliminary hearing for February 25.
“I'm in the middle,” said Friedman,
who opened the hearing by acknowledging that he was nervous. “I
have to decide this as a matter of law. I intend to do so.”
Plaintiffs in the case are a lesbian
couple looking to jointly adopt their three foster children –
Nolan, 4, Jacob, 3, and Ryanne, 3 – but who cannot because of the
state's 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting
marriage to heterosexual couples.
At the suggestion of Friedman, April
DeBoer, 42, and Jayne Rowse, 48, of Hazel Park amended their lawsuit
to also challenge the state's marriage ban.