Judge hearing arguments on legality of state's gay marriage ban - KMSP-TV

Judge hearing arguments on legality of Michigan's ban on gay marriage

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Rowse (left) and DeBoer (right) arrive at Wayne St. University on Thursday morning. Rowse (left) and DeBoer (right) arrive at Wayne St. University on Thursday morning.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

A federal judge is hearing arguments on the legality of Michigan's ban on gay marriage.

Judge Bernard Friedman of the U.S. District Court is holding court Thursday at Wayne State University law school. The state attorney general is asking Friedman to dismiss the case, saying same-sex marriage is not a fundamental legal right.

Friedman hasn't indicated when he'll make a decision. Follow the hearing live with live Twitter updates from @langeamyFOX2.

The legal challenge began after a lesbian couple from Ferndale, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, filed suit last year in their fight to jointly adopt their three special needs children. "There's no way for them to both adopt the children together as a couple which leads to endless complications," said the couple's attorney Dana Nessel.

Friedman encouraged the couple to instead challenge the state's definition of marriage. He said that's really the underlying issue in their quest for joint adoption.

DeBoer and Rowse were certified by the state as a couple to foster the children, but the state only allowed them to adopt them as individuals. They want their children to have two legal parents.

"For the parent who cannot adopt the other child, they essentially nothing but a legal stranger to that child just like any other person on the street as opposed to someone who's raised this child since the day he or she was born," said Nessel.

The Michigan Marriage Amendment to the state Constitution, approved by voters in 2004.

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