U.S. District Court Judge Bernard Friedman has ruled that the State of Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.
Judge Bernard Friedman has overturned a ban on gay marriage in Michigan, on the grounds that it is unconstitutional.
Michigan voters approved the ban on gay marriage in 2004, but April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse challenged it in court. The two women are nurses, who have been together for eight years, and are raising three adopted children together in a suburb of Detroit.
Under Michigan’s law, they are unable to jointly adopt the children, because they are not married. This could cause custodial and other legal issues if one of the women died.
It is not currently clear whether or not same-sex couples can now obtain marriage licenses. ABC reports, via Associated Press:
There was no indication that the judge was suspending his decision while the state can appeal. The decision was released shortly after 5 p.m., when most county clerk offices in Michigan were closed. Clerks issue marriage licenses. It was not clear if gay marriages could begin immediately.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette (R) is seeking an emergency stay, as Judge Friedman did not include a stay in his ruling.