- Jul 11, 2003
Wont anyone think of the wedding cake bakers.
A federal judge ruled Friday that Michigan's law against same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
The ruling is a victory for two Detroit-area nurses, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, who went to court to challenge a state law that barred them from jointly adopting each other's children.
At the invitation of the judge, they broadened their lawsuit to challenge the state's ban on same-sex marriage, adopted by 59 percent of Michigan voters a decade ago.
Judge Bernard Friedman said the state, in defending the ban as the will of the people, "lost sight of what this case is truly about: people. No court record of this proceeding could ever fully convey the personal sacrifice of these two plaintiffs who seek to ensure that the state may no longer impair the rights of their children and the thousands of others now being raised by same-sex couples."
Friday's decision, he said, "affirms the enduring principle that regardless of whoever finds favor in the eyes of the most recent majority, the guarantee of equal protection must prevail."
The judge did not put a hold on his own ruling, parting company with other federal judges who have stayed the effect of similar rulings while the cases work their way through the appeals court.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette quickly requested an emergency stay.