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Judge Orders February Trial For Marriage Equality In Michigan

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

By:          John Gallagher
On:           Oct 16, 2013
Tagged: , , , , , ,
    • hyhybt

      A trial os definitely a good dign, though. Look how much the Prop 8 supporters whined about there even being one on that case, never mind the result.

      Oct 16, 2013 at 5:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt

      (Oops. “A trial IS a good SIGN.”)

      Oct 16, 2013 at 6:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scribe38

      This sort of broke my heart today, but I still have faith. I am sort of happy that Bill Schette’s views are going to be put out there for the world to see. This man picks and choses which laws he upholds. I have been really down on Michigan as a whole in the past but if this goes through I wouldn’t mind staying around after graduation.

      Oct 16, 2013 at 7:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • gaym50ish

      Is it just me, or has anyone else gotten the impression from stories and photos that children of gay couples always seem to be the happiest kids?

      Oct 17, 2013 at 5:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tricky ricky

      there could be no immediate resolution. Michigan requires a trial with a complete record. I live there so I know.

      Oct 17, 2013 at 12:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jwrappaport

      @tricky ricky: Not so. First, it is not Michigan law that controls, it is federal law. The claim arises under the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the 14th Amendment. (Indeed, the complaint was leveled in federal court.) Second, there is no state (at least that I know of) that “requires a trial with a complete record” as a matter of course in civil cases. Courts are undoubtedly empowered to dispose of otherwise properly stated, legally cognizable complaints before proceeding to trial – that’s what summary judgment is.

      Oct 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dakotahgeo

      @jwrappaport: Spot on the mark! I can’t wait to see these MI bigots bitch-slapped from Lansing to Ann Arbor. STING!!!

      Jan 3, 2014 at 2:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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