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Appeals court halts gay marriages in Michigan

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:25 a.m. HST, Mar 22, 2014

MASON, Mich. >> A federal appeals court issued an order Saturday preventing more same-sex couples from getting married in Michigan for at least several more days.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati said it issued the stay because it needed more time to consider the state's appeal of a judge's ruling Friday overturning Michigan's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The court said its stay would last until at least Wednesday.

Earlier Saturday, dozens of same-sex couples in at least four Michigan counties wasted no time in getting hitched, uncertain of how the appeals court would act.

On Friday, federal Judge Bernard Friedman overturned Michigan's gay marriage ban, the latest in a series of decisions overturning similar laws across the country.

Two Detroit-area nurses who've been partners for eight years claimed the ban violated their rights under the U.S. Constitution. Nearly 60 percent of state voters in 2004 approved a constitutional amendment that recognizes marriage only as between a man and a woman.

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia issue licenses for same-sex marriage. Since December, bans on gay marriage have been overturned in Texas, Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia, but appeals have put those cases on hold.

The case in Michigan involves two Detroit-area nurses, Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer. They want to get married, but the original purpose of their 2012 lawsuit was to overturn Michigan's ban on joint adoptions by same-sex couples.

They are raising three adopted children with special needs at their Hazel Park home. But they can't jointly adopt each other's kids because joint adoption in the state is tied exclusively to marriage.

Rowse, 49, and DeBoer, 42, didn't testify, and the trial had nothing to do with their relationship. In fact, attorneys for the state told the judge that they are great parents.

Instead, the state urged the judge to respect the results of a 2004 election in which 59 percent of voters said marriage in Michigan can only be between a man and a woman. Conservative scholars also questioned the impact of same-sex parenting on children.

But experts testifying for Rowse and DeBoer said there were no differences between the kids of same-sex couples and the children raised by a man and woman. And the University of Texas took the extraordinary step of disavowing the testimony of sociology professor Mark Regnerus, who was a witness for Michigan.


Associated Press writers Jeff Karoub in Detroit and Mike Householder in Ann Arbor, Mich., contributed to this report.

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samidunn wrote:
Why is this news in Hawaii?
on March 22,2014 | 09:14AM
808Unionist wrote:
samidunn: It's news because the face of America is changing. It may not be want you want, but it is what the country as a whole needs to accept. Because equal rights is important to everyone.
on March 22,2014 | 11:27AM
hawaiiwalter wrote:
Marriage equality is coming to all fifty states...it's just a matter of time. Can't help but feel sorry for the poor Catholic church and the New Hope people. They lost big time and marriage equality won.
on March 22,2014 | 12:49PM
daniwitz13 wrote:
You don't understand Equality and how it should be applied. You don't even understand that it is not the Catholic Church or any Church that lost. It is our Society, as we always knew, that will take the hit. But what do you care about Society, it is not on your radar of Life. If you are Gay, you live only for your Generation, and yourselves, nothing for the Future. But, again, you don't get it anyway. Pity
on March 22,2014 | 03:34PM
hawaiiwalter wrote:
Michigan is almost broke and they're spending tax payer's money on a losing proposition like this? They better get rid of the Republicans running that state and vote in some Democrats.
on March 22,2014 | 03:24PM
st1d wrote:
marriage equality must include polygamy if equal rights are important to everyone.

polygamy has a long been recognized throughout the history of civilization, unlike gay marriage, and has been accepted in many countries and cultures.

as gay marriage wins approval by legislation or court rulings, equal rights for polygamists will once again be enjoyed by americans.

on March 22,2014 | 05:53PM
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