Federal Judge Strikes Down Michigan's Ban on Gay Marriage: VIDEO


A federal judge has struck down Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage.

Back in September 2012 Towleroad posted about April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, a Detroit couple suing the state of Michigan over its ban on gay adoption, who expanded their lawsuit to take on the state's marriage amendment. In March 2013 we reported that Federal Judge Bernard Friedman stayed his decision in the matter until after the Supreme Court ruling on DOMA. And last July, Friedman ruled that the couple could proceed with their challenge.

Watch the couple react to the ruling, AFTER THE JUMP...

MichiganToday, Friedman, a Reagan-appointed judge, struck down the state's ban, the Detroit Free Press reports:

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed an emergency request for stay of Friedman’s ruling.

“In 2004 the citizens of Michigan recognized that diversity in parenting is best for kids and families because moms and dads are not interchangeable. Michigan voters enshrined that decision in our State constitution, and their will should stand and be respected. I will continue to carry out my duty to protect and defend the Constitution,” said Schuette.

According to Schuette, Friedman did not follow the trend sent by other federal judges handling similar cases across the country, Judge Friedman did not stay his ruling pending the outcome of appeal.

DeBoer and Rowse are raising three special needs children and want to marry and adopt each other's children. Friedman's decision came after a two week trial in which several right-wing marriage and parenting "experts" took the stand. One, Sherif Girfis, was dismissed by the judge outright, saying he had nothing to offer.

RegnerusAnother, the UT researcher Mark Regnerus, whose right-wing-funded, biased parenting studies have been thoroughly discredited and debunked, took the stand even as the Sociology Department at the University of Texas, where Regnerus is employed, blasted his work as "fundamentally flawed" and distanced themselves from Regnerus' toxic views.

Here's what Friedman said about Regnerus:

"The Court finds Regnerus's testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration. The evidence adduced at trial demonstrated that his 2012 'study' was hastily concocted at the behest of a third-party funder, which found it 'essential that the necessary data be gathered to settle the question in the forum of public debate about what kinds of family arrangement are best for society' and which 'was confident that the traditional understanding of marriage will be vindicated by this study.' ... While Regnerus maintained that the funding source did not affect his impartiality as a researcher, the Court finds this testimony unbelievable. The funder clearly wanted a certain result, and Regnerus obliged."

The Free Press adds:

Friedman...sided with the plaintiffs: two Hazel Park lesbian nurses who argue the state has no “rational basis” for denying them the right to get married and adopt each others’ children.

Read the ruling here.

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  1. I'm losing count, which makes me giddy. Is this 18? Loving the momentum, and these moms are just so wonderful to be raising these kids ... I'm glad this will bring their family so much joy and comfort and peace.

    Posted by: Zlick | Mar 21, 2014 5:28:13 PM

  2. Yay! Great for Michigan.

    And at 31 pages, maybe I'll be able to read it!

    Posted by: Randy | Mar 21, 2014 5:29:58 PM

  3. "The Court finds Regnerus’s testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious
    Love it.

    Posted by: Sean | Mar 21, 2014 5:33:08 PM

  4. ...and Maggie Gallagher wept.

    Posted by: Dan Mc. | Mar 21, 2014 5:35:33 PM

  5. CONGRATS MICHIGAN!!! Yes, I am shouting!!!

    Posted by: wayneMPLS | Mar 21, 2014 5:36:47 PM

  6. Equality wins again!

    Posted by: NotSafeForWork | Mar 21, 2014 5:47:22 PM

  7. As a born-and-raised Michigander, this makes me so happy. I've never cared about weddings and all their symbolism and pageantry, but I do want to marry my boyfriend of 4+ years and always hoped to do it in the state we both call home.

    Posted by: Agog | Mar 21, 2014 5:47:59 PM

  8. And a Reagan appointee too!!!

    Posted by: Tboy | Mar 21, 2014 5:48:07 PM

  9. This is a significant ruling because it was a trial, and NOM and AFA expert witnesses absolutely fell apart under cross examination. Mark Regnerus will never be an expert witnesss again. Now all the religious right have to argue is their faith based belief, and that will never stand up in a court of law. Read the trial transcrips, there is now way an appellate judge can disagree with the findings. I hope Brian Brown and Tony Perkins realize this is their biggest loss since Windsor.

    Posted by: Jim Tideman | Mar 21, 2014 5:52:50 PM

  10. The Michigan AG is going absolutely bonkers on his twitter...he's in "emergency" mode...


    Posted by: NotSafeForWork | Mar 21, 2014 5:56:14 PM

  11. Fantastic news for those of us who continue to call Michigan home. There will be much celebrating here tonight!

    Posted by: John | Mar 21, 2014 5:58:52 PM

  12. Another bad day for the haters.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Mar 21, 2014 6:05:20 PM

  13. Yes!

    Posted by: reality | Mar 21, 2014 6:12:14 PM

  14. "Judge Friedman did not stay his ruling pending the outcome of appeal."

    This is wonderful news. As California shows, there's no need for a stay, because:

    1. Violations of fundamental rights based on animus are violations every hour of every day. No delay is acceptable.

    2. Allowing some people to marry, and then stopping marriage, is no hardship to the state or to the married couples. This was the condition in California for 5 years, and somehow life went on.

    I haven't read the judge's decision, but it seems I'll enjoy it.

    Posted by: Randy | Mar 21, 2014 6:12:26 PM

  15. what a spectacular slap down for the false manufactured testimony of Regnerus' testimony.

    he should never show his face in public again.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Mar 21, 2014 6:15:32 PM

  16. Mr. Regnerus, when you lose your integrity as a man you have nothing left.

    Posted by: Jay | Mar 21, 2014 6:21:27 PM

  17. Closet-case Regenerus is finished in reputable academic circles. Maybe he could re-start one of the now-defunct gay-conversion "ministries" and then close it again after he gets busted f**king one of this colleagues they way all the rest of them have. Oh--except Marcus Bachmann, of course.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Mar 21, 2014 6:31:50 PM

  18. Notably - let it be repeated - the judge in this case is a Reagan appointee.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Mar 21, 2014 6:32:58 PM

  19. I read the Judge's ruling and it eviserates all the expert witnesses against SSM. This will have huge implications going forward. THERE ARE NO CREDIBLE EXPERTS AGAINST SAME SEX MArriage

    Posted by: Jim Tideman | Mar 21, 2014 6:38:33 PM

  20. "The funder clearly wanted a certain result, and Regnerus obliged."

    Awesome! Helluva public condemnation of his "professional ethics" by a federal judge. I wonder if UT has grounds to fire him yet... Her statement makes him look like a political hack instead of a college professor. He's making UT look like fools. He's not the best face for an institution of higher learning. They've publicly condemned him too, but they're still paying him. Wonder if he's tenured, and if he is, when's his next 6-year review?

    Posted by: MikeInSanJose | Mar 21, 2014 6:40:14 PM

  21. I knew sanity would prevail and am happy that I have not moved out of my home state! It will be a bumpy road ahead but I'm feeling all the better for it. Now, I just need to find a husband! LOL

    Posted by: Scotty | Mar 21, 2014 6:43:03 PM

  22. Regenerous can now move to KY and help Ken 'half-baked' Ham, build his ARK...they are BOTH terribly talented with their "great big" 3rd grade educations, WOW!

    Posted by: codyj | Mar 21, 2014 6:45:48 PM

  23. it's really encouraging to see all of us agreeing in our appreciation of this judge's comments on Regnerus.

    'What does it profit a man to gain the whole world........but for Attorney General of Wales ?'

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Mar 21, 2014 6:46:05 PM

  24. Fantastic news and, as others have said, one great thing about it is how thoroughly the judge dismisses Mark Regnerus. The opponents who thought he was their golden boy and their ticket to holding back the tide are now learning that just the opposite is true: when the opposition is put on trial, their arguments crumble. His certainly have. Sets a great precedent. Onward!

    Posted by: Ernie | Mar 21, 2014 6:47:44 PM

  25. Oh how I wished Maggie Gallagher would have had to testify during the Ca prop 8 trail.

    Posted by: Mark | Mar 21, 2014 7:01:42 PM

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