Dashing hopes for a more immediate resolution, a federal judge has ordered a trial to determine the constitutionality of Michigan’s ban on marriage equality. In scheduling the trial for February, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman put off making a decision about the law, to the surprise of many activists who had expected one today.
“I’m in the middle. I have to decide this as a matter of law. I intend to do so,” Friedman said. He added that the plaintiffs in the case, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, are “entitled to their day in court and they shall have it.”
The signs had been pointing to Friedman throwing out the ban on marriage equality, and activists had already canvassed county clerks statewide to see who would be willing to start issuing marriage licenses. Just to be on the safe side, in advance of the ruling Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette, who provided the court with a catalog of homophobic canards to support the ban, told the clerks there were “forbidden” to issue any marriage licenses until there is a final ruling in the case.
Photo credit: Nessel and Kessel Law