American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

Federal Court rules Michigan marriage ban unconstitutional

Today, a federal judge in Michigan ruled unconstitutional the state’s laws prohibiting marriages for gay and lesbian couples, saying that they violate the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Judge Bernard Friedman’s decision comes two weeks after the 9-day trial in DeBoer v. Snyder came to a close.

The trial was the second time a federal court heard expert testimony on the issue of marriage for gay and lesbian couples. In January 2010, AFER’s attorneys led by Ted Olson and David Boies presented 17 witnesses in Perry v. Schwarzenegger (later Hollingsworth v. Perry).

Similar to recent rulings, Judge Friedman found that state laws violate the United States Constitution:

“Today’s decision…affirms the enduring principle that regardless of whoever finds favor in the eyes of the most recent majority, the guarantee of equal protection must prevail.”

This is the sixth time a federal court has ruled such discriminatory laws unconstitutional, and the fifth state to do so in the last three months.

The lawsuit was filed by two nurses, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, and on behalf of their three children.

The decision is expected to be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, Ohio by the state defendants.

Read the decision:

Topics: Blog