Illustration for article titled Citing DOMA Ruling, Judge Approves Challenge to Mich. Gay Marriage Ban

A lesbian couple from a Detroit suburb are "entitled to their day in court," a federal judge said Monday after he refused to toss their lawsuit challenging Michigan's ban on adoption by same-sex couples.

Judge Bernard Friedman's decision stemmed from the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling last week that struck down the federal Defense Of Marriage Act.


The couple — April DeBoer, 42 and Jayne Rowse, 48 — filed their initial complaint last year, arguing that the 2004 state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage violates their right to jointly-adopt their three children.

The state wanted the case dismissed after DeBoer and Rowse expanded it to challenge the marriage ban. More from the Detroit Free Press:

After the couple filed a complaint in January 2012 challenging the state ban, the state asked the court to dismiss the case.

In his decision, Friedman noted the Supreme Court’s ruling last week said laws banning gay marriages would relegate “same-sex relationships to a form of second-tier status” and also impair the rights of “children now being raised by same-sex couples.”

“That is exactly the type of harm plaintiffs seek to remedy in this case,” Friedman wrote.


Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette vowed the state would "aggressively defend" its constitution.

(Photo courtesy of The Associated Press)

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