Back in September I 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.
Motions which could be decisive on the matter are scheduled for March 7, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. at Wayne State University Law School, located at 471 W. Palmer Ave, Detroit Michigan, according to the couple's attorney Dana Nessel of Nessel and Kessel Law. Judge Friedman recently ordered a venue change to accommodate the public interest in the outcome.
Via press release:
The couple, who has been in a committed relationship for over a decade, has three special-needs children. DeBoer, a neo-natal intensive care nurse, and Rowse, an emergency room nurse, became licensed as a couple to be foster parents. Within a year and a half, they welcomed three newborns who had been abandoned or surrendered at birth. The children faced long-term physical and mental impairments due to prematurity, little or no prenatal care, maternal drug use, and other complications.
DeBoer and Rowse's desire to jointly adopt all three children would establish each parent's legal claim and relationship to their children. Currently one has adopted two of the children and the other has adopted one. April and Jayne asserted that the Michigan Adoption Code, which prohibits joint adoption for their kids and thousands of other children in households like theirs across the state, violates their right to Equal Protection under the United States Constitution.
“Jayne and I love our children as deeply as any other parent loves their kids,” said DeBoer. “We just want our children to have the same protections all other children have, so that our kids know they can never be taken from either of us.”
Attorneys Dana Nessel (Nessel & Kessel Law) and Carole Stanyar (The Law Offices of Carole Stanyar) filed a complaint on behalf of April, Jayne, and their children against the State of Michigan in January of 2012, however, at the behest of Judge Bernard Friedman, the pleadings were amended to challenge the same-sex marriage ban, significantly expanding the scope of the case.
Michigan's Marriage Amendment, approved by voters in 2004, prohibits gays and lesbians from a legal marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships.
“As one of the most draconian bans in the nation, the amendment effectively prohibits any type of legal recognition or benefits for same-sex couples in Michigan,” said Nessel. “Ironically, the State of Michigan found these women good enough to put their blood, sweat, and tears into raising these children together as foster parents. To now deny them the opportunity to both become legal parents to the children they love, and who are the only parents they have ever known, is totally irrational, and serves no legitimate purpose.”