Day 1: Trial on Mich.'s gay marriage ban underway - KMSP-TV

Day 1: Trial on Mich.'s gay marriage ban underway

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Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer are challenging Michigan's ban on gay marriage. Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer are challenging Michigan's ban on gay marriage.
Protesters lined up outside federal court in Detroit on Tuesday morning. Protesters lined up outside federal court in Detroit on Tuesday morning.

DETROIT (WJBK) -- An attorney for two Detroit-area women has urged a judge to strike down Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage and declare there are no "second-class citizens" under law.

Lawyers delivered opening statements Tuesday in a trial that challenges a 2004 constitutional amendment that recognizes marriage only between a man and a woman. April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse of suburban Detroit say the amendment violates their rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Demonstrators for and against the gay marriage ban were outside federal court all day during the trial Tuesday.

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Pastors want Michigan gay marriage ban to stand

Federal Judge Bernard Friedman has set aside two weeks to hear testimony from experts in the areas of economics, marriage and child-rearing. Ten expert witnesses are expected to be called to testify, five from each side.

Former Rutgers University professor David Brodzinsky says gays and lesbians are successfully raising children in every state in the U.S. He was the first witness at a trial in Detroit federal court.

The psychologist testified gender and sexual orientation are not barriers to good parenting.

Michigan Assistant Attorney General Kristin Heyse says it would be a mistake to overturn the will of the people. She says it wasn't a "whim of the few." The ban was approved by 59 percent of the voters.

The trial continues Wednesday.

-The Associated Press contributed to this report

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