LGBT — November 17, 2014 at 6:45 pm

As Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban heads to Supreme Court, AG Schuette says married same-sex couples aren’t married


Evolution is tough for bigots. They struggle as the world around them changes and evolves and becomes better, more accepting of people who are different than them. Chauvinists struggled with the women’s suffrage movement in the early part of the 20th Century and then again during the fight for equality in the latter half of the 20th Century. Racists struggled with civil rights for non-white Americans. But, eventually, society turns toward the cause of justice and, though fights for equality are never completely won, American society largely moves inexorably in the right direction.

The rapid expansion of civil rights – including marriage equality – for the LGBT community is today’s societal pivot. The majority of Americans no longer feel gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people should be relegated to some sub-citizen status. As the rest of us evolve, the minority – the bigots who can’t evolve with the rest of us – continue to fight tooth and nail to preserve our country’s tragically traditional discrimination against our fellow citizens.

The poster child for that embarrassing and unevolved position is Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. While your run-of-the-mill bigot spends his or her time mouthing disgusting platitudes about the LGBT community, Bill Schuette has the treasury of the state of Michigan to back up his bigotry. Indeed, he has spent millions of our tax dollars to ensure that the LGBT community cannot marry, adopt children together, or to enjoy the hundreds of benefits the rest of our state’s married couples experience.

This week, in the wake of a terribly flawed 6th Circuit Court decision reinstating Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage, Schuette has now moved forward with trying to reverse the marriages of over 300 same-sex couples that took place last spring. He did this by filing a motion with the Circuit Court in an ACLU lawsuit asking the state of Michigan to recognize those marriages. His motion asks that the judge either dismiss the ACLU’s case or put off a decision until the suit filed by April DeBoer seeking to overturn Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban is decided.

Keep in mind that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has already said that they ARE legal as far as the federal government is concerned.

In his ruling, Schuette finishes with this:

Defendants continue to believe that this Court should hold this case in abeyance pending a final decision in DeBoer, including a decision by the United States Supreme Court, if applicable. But if the Court declines to hold the case in abeyance, then Defendants’ motion to dismiss must be granted and Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction must be denied because, under the Sixth Circuit’s decision in DeBoer, Plaintiffs’ marriages are void and cannot be recognized for any purposes.

[left to right: April DeBoer, Nolan, Jacob, Jayne Rowse, and Ryanne]

In the midst of all of this, today April DeBoer’s attorneys filed paperwork today with the United States Supreme Court asking that their case be heard promptly:

The legal team for April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse filed its appeal today with the U.S. Supreme Court. They want the court to rule that Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage and others like it across the country are unconstitutional.

This is speedy timing as Supreme Court appeals go. The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled less than two weeks ago, upholding same-sex marriage bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

The Ohio and Tennessee same-sex marriage appeals were filed last week. Now, Kentucky, and Michigan have filed. The goal is to get the case on the Supreme Court’s calendar in the current term.

“We’re very, very hopeful that the Supreme Court will take one of our cases,”said Dana Nessel, an attorney for DeBoer and Rowse, the lesbian couple from Hazel Park who sued the state of Michigan over its same-sex marriage ban. The two nurses want to get married so they can jointly adopt the children they’re raising together.

The only thing that Bill Schuette seems to have in common with April, Jayne, their legal team, and all LGBT folks in Michigan is their desire for the SCOTUS to settle this matter once and for all.

If you’d like to chip in to help April and Jayne with their legal battle, you can do so HERE.

You can read our interview with Jayne and April with pictures of their adorable children HERE.

UPDATE: Dana Nessel, attorney for Jayne and April, just noted this on Facebook: