Federal judge holds off on Michigan's same-sex marriage ban ruling
10:53 AM, Mar 7, 2013
1:03 PM, Mar 7, 2013
(WXYZ) - Same-sex couples hoping to get married or adopt children are now in limbo.
A federal judge who could have ruled on Michigan's gay marriage ban this morning is now waiting to see what the U.S. Supreme Court does before he rules in this widely watched case.
April DeBoer and her partner of more than 10 years, Jayne Rowse, walked into Wayne State University hoping today would be the day that changed their lives and those of so many other same-sex couples.
"A lot more people have come out and said ‘Good luck, thanks for doing this,'" said Rowse.
The 7 Action News team first broke the story when the couple filed a federal lawsuit last year. The nurses have been recognized as foster parents. Yet, Michigan's ban on gay marriage means they can't jointly adopt their three children.
So, Jayne adopted the boys. April adopted the girl.
But, what started as an adoption issue is now taking on Michigan's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
"If this is what it takes to get our children's rights covered, that's what we're going to do," said Rowse, who admitted she didn't foresee the marriage challenge when she first filed the lawsuit.
Today, the state asked a U.S. district judge to dismiss the challenge, saying it should be the citizens who decide on the social issue, not the courts. But speaking behind closed doors at Wayne State to accommodate a large student audience, the judge said he would wait until the supreme court makes its decision on two separate pending gay marriage cases.
"It's kind of hard, but like I said he's got to have all the facts," said DeBoer. "He needs to make the right decision and we're confident that he will and that again our children will be ours again."
The judge will issue a written opinion after the U.S. Supreme Court makes its rulings.