NOTE: Every day this week I will be posting about the fundraiser for the legal fund for April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse who are challenging Michigan’s discriminatory marriage ban. Over half of the residents in our state oppose this law and it’s time for it to go away for good. Equally as important, it is a case that’s likely to go to the U.S. Supreme Court where it may very well decide the fate of same-sex marriage bans across the country once and for all. It’s important that the case is done well at the state level so that it lays a solid foundation for consideration by higher courts. I hope you’ll join me in making a donation at MichiganMarriageChallenge.com today or by clicking the widget at the top right of the page. You can read my interview with Jayne and April HERE.
I want to introduce you to the legal team who is fighting to end the ban on same sex marriage in Michigan. These heroes haven’t received any compensation at all for their works but they deserved to be recognized.
Attorneys Carole Stanyar, Dana Nessel, Ken Mogill and Robert Sedler have years of experience trying criminal and civil cases both in state and federal courts. Ms. Stanyar, Mr. Mogill, and Mr. Sedler have all argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, while Ms. Nessel is recognized as one of Michigan’s premier attorneys for LGTB issues, having represented numerous clients over the years. Additionally, there are two nationally recognized, high-profile attorneys, Mary Bunauto and Leslie Cooper, who have signed on to consult for the trial. Mary Bunauto is the Civil Rights Project Director for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). Ms. Bunauto successfully argued Baker v. State of Vermont in 1999 which allowed for the first civil unions law in the country. Ms. Bunauto also worked on the DOMA case. Leslie Cooper is an attorney for the ACLU’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. She is currently challenging Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage in Whitewood v. Wolf.
These attorneys who are handling the DeBoer v. Snyder case have assembled a nationally recognized team of expert witnesses who will testify about issues related same-sex marriage and LGBT parenting. Many of these experts like Dr. Nancy Cott, Dr. George Chauncey, and Dr. Gregory Herek have testified in other high-profile cases including the DOMA and Prop 8 trials. They also have local Michigan experts like Professor Vivek Sankaran who will testify about the detrimental effects of our same-sex marriage ban on LGBT residents and their families. In constrast, the State has assembled some of the most notorious and thoroughly debunked social scientists in the country to defend its position. Included on the State’s witness list is Mark Regenerus, considered the leading national voice in opposition to same-sex marriage, LGBT parenting, LGBT rights, and gays and lesbians in general.
In order to cover the costs of these national and Michigan expert witness, associated attorney and consultant fees and related trial costs, they need to raise between $555,550-$767,525. To date, they have only raised a little over $30,000. The issues involved in DeBoer v. Snyder, combined with the especially discriminatory nature of Michigan’s laws make this case unique.
DeBoer v. Snyder presents the best and earliest opportunity for marriage equality and adoption equality in Michigan and, as I have already mentioned, could possibly go on to the US Supreme Court where the record from this trial could be used to strike down the ban on same-sex marriage in all the remaining states where it exists. We need your generous contributions to make this happen.
So far, the Eclectablog MONEY BOMB has resulted in under $1,000 worth of donations, an order of magnitude less than I had hoped. Please consider making a contribution today.