With tweets: Hazel Park couple cheered following closing arguments of gay marriage trial


Detroit — The decision on whether Michigan’s same-sex adoption and gay marriage will be lifted now rests in the hands of U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman who estimates he will render his decision in the historic case in the next week and half.

“I have to do findings of fact and … law. I have a lot of reading to do,” said Friedman at the end of the closing remarks in the closely-watched case. “I have a lot of decision-making to do. It’s going to take a lot of time.

April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse walked out of the federal courthouse Friday to rousing applause from supporters to see them have their day in court.

DeBoer talked through tears about the lengthy court trial based on she and Rowse’s challenge to the Michigan constitutional and adoption codes that blocks them from legally marrying and co-adopting one another’s adoptive children.

“We’re hopeful we’ll be on the right side of history,” said DeBoer shortly after the closing arguments in the closely watched case that could end with a historic approval of same-sex marriage in Michigan.

Rowse said the case was about “maintaining and protecting our children’s civil rights.”

The two Hazel Park women, both nurses, also sued over the state of Michigan’s adoption law, which does not allow same-sex couples to adopt.

In closing arguments, attorney Ken Mogill, part of the legal team for DeBoer and Rowse, said the state constitution discriminates against the two women and their family because the Michigan Marriage Amendment, approved by voters in 2004, stipulates that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Mogill called the state law discriminatory.

“April and Jayne are barred from one of life’s most cherished institutions because they loved the wrong kind of person,” Mogill said. “The right to marry is a fundamental right that should apply regardless of sexual orientation. Denial of that right is a denial of due process … of equality.”

The trial was held before U.S. District Court Judge Bernard Friedman, who said Friday it will be at least a week and a half before he hands out his decision in the case. It will be posted on the court’s website.

Saying “time is of the essence,” the attorney for Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown asked Friedman for an immediate injunction that would side-step an anticipated stay by the state of Michigan, allowing Brown to issue marriage licenses to lesbians and gays if Friedman rules to lift Michigan’s gay marriage ban.

Michael Pitt, Brown’s attorney, said she will issue marriage licenses to lesbian and gay couples immediately if Friedman rules that the ban is unconstitutional.

Assistant state attorney Kristin Heyse said the will of Michigan voters, who approved the gay marriage ban in 2004, should not be ignored when Friedman is considering the case.

“The voters made a decision to define marriage as between a man and woman,” said Heyse on Friday during closing arguments. “This court should not intervene with the (voters’) authority, and to do so would be a clear violation of law.”

Heyse added: “Moms and dads are important, and children benefit from having both.”

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140307/METRO06/303070046#ixzz2vKDM0yH0