The Fight To Legalize Gay Marriage May Return To Supreme Court


April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, accompanied by their children
April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, accompanied by their children

There’s never any way to know for sure what the Supreme Court is going to do, or what cases they are likely to accept or reject, but if I had to guess, my bet would be that they will accept the case filed on Monday by April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, the gay couple from Hazel Park, Michigan, who are largely responsible for getting the ball rolling on legalizing same-sex marriage in Michigan.

It’s past time for the issue of gay marriage to be decided at the national, not just the local, level. The progress witnessed by the number of states that have approved same-sex marriage in recent years has been encouraging, but this should never have been a state’s rights sort of issue. Human rights can never be allowed to be OK in one state, but not quite so OK in the state next door.

The big question, of course, is whether the Supreme Court will do the right thing if and when they do agree to hear the case filed on Monday by the couples’ lawyer which asks the court to invalidate the Nov. 6 ruling of the U.S. South Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the ban on gay marriage in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Because to DeBoer and Rowse it somehow just doesn’t make sense to have their marriage – or the marriages of so many other gay couples – considered legal for one hot second and then retroactively tarred and feathered as illegal and illegitimate the next.

For one brief, shining moment beginning in March of this year, the marital union of DeBoer and Rowse was considered legal when U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman lifted Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage, thanks largely to the Hazel Park couple who brought the lawsuit challenging that voter-approved ban. Friedman’s ruling was set aside not quite 24 hours later by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. In August, a three-judge panel heard arguments in the case brought by DeBoer and Rowse and other similar cases from Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. On Nov. 6 the court upheld the ban on same-sex marriage in a 2-1 decision and DeBoer and her partner determined they would take their fight to the highest court in the land, something they always anticipated might happen.

Appeals Court Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey, the dissenting vote who openly supports same-sex marriage and made that known during the trial, criticized the majority ruling of her two colleagues and said their reasoning would have prevented equal rights for women from ever becoming a reality.

“If we in the judiciary do not have the authority, and indeed the responsibility, to right fundamental wrongs left excused by a majority of the electorate, our whole intricate, constitutional system of checks and balances, as well as the oaths to which we swore, prove to be nothing but shams,” she said.

And there you have it. And on and on it goes…

4 Replies to “The Fight To Legalize Gay Marriage May Return To Supreme Court”

  1. I’d like to see the case get to the Supreme Court. If the court agrees that same-sex marriage bans violate the Constitution, great. But even if it doesn’t, and the 5 right-wingers on the court prevail, that would make clear to moderate voters that conservatives don’t support their views and shouldn’t be in positions of power.

  2. Yes, Michigan is headed to the Supreme Court over marriage equality according to a Facebook posting…. Had a feeling it would especially with Snyder getting re-elected.

    I live in the state, have off and on for about 35 years. There is a large gay population here that doesn’t get talked about. With wingnuts controlling the state they want to control anything and everything they do not agree with.

    If you are lucky enough to find someone you love and can get along with in a state filled with teabillies (both male and female) then nothing should be able to stop you from being happy with your partner…

  3. “…Human rights can never be allowed to be OK in one state, but not quite so OK in the state next door.”

    These faux christian cult fundamentalist have done the same with abortion. All they do is plug in a different component to their same issue, and their issue always remains the same; religious fundamentalism makes them “right”, which, of course, it doesn’t.

    Judge Daughtrey gets it; by law, the courts have the right to “right fundamental(ist) wrongs” based on “secular law”. Our system is being “shammed” by lawless con-artist who use THEIR religious cult to bully, dare I say persecute non-believers. Fundamentally, they are “wrong” and everybody knows it!

    This phony battle cry of “christian persecution” is the REAL sham. If they really “believe” they are being persecuted, then, they should pack their bags and leave America. They don’t like or agree with the Founding Fathers who “believed” in civil or secular law, then leave; no one is stopping them!

  4. Wait a minute. Charles Manson, the mass murderer, in prison for life is getting married and we are still discussing the issue of gay marriage. Folks, get over it. If everyone is so concerned about the children, ban divorce for folks with kids under 18.

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