LGBT — July 1, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Federal judge allows suit challenging Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage to move forward


Change is coming fast

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman ruled today that a case being brought by a Michigan lesbian couple challenging Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriages can move forward. Earlier this year, Judge Friedman suggested that the lesbian couple, Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer, who were suing to be allowed to adopt each other’s children, broaden their complaint to challenge the same-sex marriage ban itself.

However, on March 6th, Judge Friedman decided to delay his decision until the U.S. Supreme Court gave their rulings on California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. During that hearing, he repeatedly challenged the notion that there is some rational government purpose in preventing same-sex couples from marrying. Now that that the Supreme Court has ruled decisively on the side of marriage equality, Judge Friedman is prepared to allow Rowse and DeBoer to challenge Michigan’s ban:

Today, Judge Friedman denied the state of Michigan’s attempt to dismiss the case. He cited the recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings in his decision

From Friedman’s ruling:

“Construing the facts in the light most favorable to plaintiffs, and in view of the Supreme Court’s current statement of the law, this Court cannot say that plaintiffs’ claims for relief are without plausibility. Plaintiffs are entitled to their day in court and they shall have it.”

Both sides in the lawsuit will appear before Friedman on July 10th to set a court date.

As both sides of the issue gear up for an epic battle in 2016 over the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in Michigan, Judge Friedman, a conservative Republican appointed by President Reagan, may short circuit that in 2013.

Here’s hoping he does.