Michigan same-sex couple has case heard by US appeals court - KMSP-TV

Michigan same-sex couple has case heard by US appeals court

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CINCINNATI (WJBK) -  Hundreds rally and march outside the court of appeals as the plaintiffs file into court - April and Jayne DeBoer Rowse posing for photos on the steps of the Sixth circuit court of appeals.

"We're just excited to get the next phase over and done with," said April DeBoer. "We're one step closer to becoming a legal family."

"It is such an historic day," Jayne Rowse said. "Not only for Michigan but surrounding states also to fight their fight."

RELATED: Click here for the audio recording of today's hearing in the DeBoer-Rowse case.

Six cases from four states - Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee were heard at the same time- and the judges Jeffrey Sutton, Deborah Cook and Martha Daughtrey, challenging the state of Michigan assistant attorney general.

If marriage is about love, affection and commitment - why is one group eligible and another group is not?

The state saying judge Bernard Friedman had overstepped in overruling the voters who passed Michigan's marriage amendment in 2004.

The panel asking the DeBoer-Rowse team - why not use the democratic process? Why not let the voters decide?

Attorney Carole Stanyar telling them fundamental rights are not subject to the popular vote,  telling the judges they do not have the luxury of dodging a Constitutional challenge. And that nothing has been done in Michigan to help gay and lesbian people for decades.

"Oral arguments are often like this," Stanyar said. "Part conversation, part speech and part root-canal and this is no different."

"It was a lively court room, we can't make any predictions," DeBoer said. "We're going to wait and see."

On the other side of the debate - Catholics protesting same sex marriage by praying - saying the rosary outside the courthouse.

Jane Hoffman  said, "Marriage is a great gift, and we can't arbitrarily redefine it."
Helen Russo, who was also  protesting said that it is the union of a man and a woman for the purpose of procreating children."  

Outside the courthouse there were marches, rallies - even a pretend wedding.

"One day it's going to happen and we're going to be able to get married and be treated just like everyone else," said Jon Bradford who participated in the pretend wedding.

The  court of appeals is expected to make a decision in weeks.


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