Future of same-sex marriage in Mich. now up to federal judge

Future of same-sex marriage in Mich. now up to federal judge

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Demonstrators from both sides have peacefully protested outside the courtroom during the trial. Demonstrators from both sides have peacefully protested outside the courtroom during the trial.
Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer with their three children. Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer with their three children.
(WJBK) -

After eight days of testimony from scientists, researchers and professors Judge Bernard Friedman will decide the future of same-sex marriage in Michigan.

The trial was dominated by different views from scholars about the welfare of children raised by same-sex parents. Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer of Hazel Park are trying to convince the judge that there's no "rational" basis under law for Michigan to ban same-sex marriage.

The two have been together for eight years. They're raising three adopted children who have special needs, but they can't jointly adopt each other's kids because they're not married. That could cause problems if one of the women dies.

"Although Jane and I would love to get married, and we want to get married, this is truly, truly about our rights and our kids' rights," says DeBoer.

"All they want is to be recognized and have their families be recognized legally by the state that they call home," says Dana Nessel, attorney for DeBoer-Rowse family.

The state is defending its position that marriage is between a man and a woman. Voters passed the same-sex marriage ban in 2004.

"The strongest argument we have in this case is that the people have spoken. Two-point-seven million Michigan voters made their voices heard," says Joy Yearout, a spokesperson for Michigan's Attorney General.

Judge Friedman has much reading to do, reviewing all of the evidence and cases sited. He's anticipating issuing his opinion the week of March 16 via the court's website.

What happens if the judge overturns the ban?

If Judge Friedman overturns Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage, the state will immediately appeal the ruling. Also, the state has already asked for a stay, meaning no gay marriages would be able to take place pending the appeal.

However, Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown has also asked that all Michigan clerks be ordered to immediately grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples if the ban is overturned.

Copyright 2014 by myFOXDetroit.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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