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Same Sex Marriage to Be Decided at Trial

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By Lauren Winther

A federal Judge decided Wednesday the fate of same-sex marriage in Michigan will be determined at trial next year.

Both sides had anticipated decisions on the merits of the case, however Judge Bernard Friedman, in an eight page opinion denied both parties’ attempts to end the case short of a trial.

“This particular case came about at a funky time,” said Nicholas Bush, Vice President of StandOUT at Grand Rapids Community College. “We were going through a government shutdown and I think that more eyes and ears were focused on there being a functioning government. It would be surprising to me if we made history by lifting a ban on thousands of years of prejudice, but couldn’t view an exhibit at the Gerald R. Ford Museum.”

Plaintiffs April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse were seeking an order that section 24 of the Michigan Adoption Code and the Michigan Marriage Amendment which, taken together, prevented them from jointly adopting their respective children were unconstitutional.

However, Governor  Rick Synder and Attorney General William Schuette, the defendants  in the case, also requested an order dismissing the case prior to trial arguing that neither DeBoer nor Rowse had a constitutional right to marry another individual of the same gender.

“I don’t think that Michigan should allow same-sex marriage,” Bush said, “I think that every single city, county, state, province, country and continent should allow same-sex marriage. It’s a basic human right.”

According to his Order, Judge Friedman in denying both requests stated, “the parties must be afforded the opportunity to develop their own record in this matter with the benefit of calling witnesses and subjecting them to cross-examination.”

This case has ignited hope within the LGBT community regardless of the outcome.

“In this case, any media is good media, “ said Bush. “The more that the issue is addressed and brought to the public’s attention, the more people will Stand-OUT, and advocate for change. There is so much that we as college students can do to raise awareness, it just takes the initial standing up and voicing your opinion. JFK knew what he was talking about…’The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.’ John F. Kennedy”

Trial has been scheduled for Feb. 25 in Detroit.