A Challenge to Michigan’s Gay Marriage Ban | Seattle Civil Rights Lawyer

| In The News


Two gay women in Michigan are making headlines in the state, which avidly bans gay marriage. The two women have raised three children together, ages 4 and 3. The kids consider each other siblings, although both of the women aren’t legally all of the children’s parents. Jayne Rowse adopted two of the children and her partner, April DeBoer, adopted the third.

Here’s where it gets tricky. Under Michigan law, Rowse cannot adopt DeBoer’s child and DeBoer cannot adopt Rowse’s child. This is because they’re not married. And marriage isn’t even an option for them because they are gay. This could cause great problems down the road, because if one of the women were to die, her partner would not immediately be given custody and parental rights of the child or children of the deceased.

The judge who was presented with their case looked beyond the adoption woes, and right into the eye of the storm- Michigan’s gay marriage ban. He insisted that they challenge the ban, and so that is what they did. Now they are in the center of a political whirlwind in Michigan. State officials are saying that there will be “legal chaos” if the ban is thrown out.

The state released a statement that said “Michigan supports natural procreation and recognizes that children benefit from being raised by parents of each sex…”