Jay Kaplan, LGBT Project Staff Attorney

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April and Jayne just wanted to jointly adopt three special needs children they were foster parenting.

Without both women adopting the children as a family, the couple worried that their kids would lack the legal protection of both parents.

Yet they discovered Michigan had many hurdles that would not permit them to adopt their children together. Many Michigan judges interpret the state's adoption law to mean only married couples can adopt together, using this to discriminate against LGBT couples.

Here at the ACLU of Michigan, we don’t agree with that interpretation of the law. Yet that has been the legal reality for LGBT families in many counties.

April and Jayne filed a federal lawsuit, DeBoer v. Snyder, challenging the State’s refusal to allow them to be legal parents to their children. The State of Michigan is defending this discriminatory policy. 

Judge Friedman was assigned to the case and pointed out that the right to adopt hinged on the legal status of marriage. He suggested that April and Jayne should challenge Michigan’s prohibition on the right of same-sex couples to marry as well.

Now, with both adoption and marriage laws being challenged, the policies that most obviously deny same-sex couples the same fundamental rights afforded to opposite-sex couples will be on trial.

{C}After initial briefings and motions, Judge Friedman decided that such an important case shouldn't be decided without hearing all the facts. He has asked that both sides present experts to testify both in favor and against marriage equality for same-sex couples.

This historic hearing will take place on February 25th, where it will be up to the State to provide constitutional justification this legally-sanctioned discrimination.

We don’t think they will be able to pull it off and we believe that this case is the vehicle towards marriage equality in Michigan.

Today, I'm hosting a free one-hour briefing for anyone curious about this case and marriage equality in Michigan.

Special Call: Routes to Marriage in Michigan
Thursday, February 20 @ 4:00 p.m. (EST)
Dial: 888-461-2024
Conference ID: 3075262

I hope that you can call in as I try to explain the possible impact of this upcoming trial and take questions about the many routes to marriage the LGBT community and allies can take.

This call is free and for all members of the LGBT community and allies. You can submit questions before the call here

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