I've been happily married for nearly 33 years. I know first-hand how much marriage can mean to a couple and their children, and it has hurt me to see other loving couples barred from sharing the same joys and sorrows. I’m ecstatic that I've been part of the legal team which has opened the door to marriage for all loving couples in our state.
This struggle is far from over. In the weeks and months ahead, we'll need everyone's support to ensure that the clock isn't turned back on our progress. Michigan’s Attorney General has already appealed the victory.
The fight will be long, hard and expensive. You can be a part of history by supporting the litigation through your donation.
When we first brought this case just two years ago, it was about April and Jayne’s right to adopt each other’s children. We never imagined that the case would turn into a challenge to Michigan’s discriminatory marriage amendment.
Sometimes, things can change fast.
First the judge invited us to expand the case to include a challenge to the Michigan Marriage Amendment. Then he decided that the issues in the case were important enough that there should be a full trial – the first marriage equality case to go to trial since California's ban was ruled unconstitutional – and he agreed to expedite the trial date.
When the trial started on February 25, though, we were ready.
All of our witnesses were at the top of their field. As Judge Friedman found, the State’s witnesses were part of a "fringe" group.
The legal question was whether sexual orientation was a valid reason for denying full equality to some of those couples, and Judge Friedman has answered with a resounding “no”!
Reading Judge Friedman’s landmark decision was an exhilarating experience. He heard our message and speaks in stirring language, pointing out that the protections, joy and dignity of marriage are the right of all Michiganders. All couples have the right to love one another, make a commitment to one another and decide together whether to form a family.
As excited as we are about this victory, this struggle is far from over. Depending on what happens, this case could end where it is now, at the federal appeals court in Cincinnati, or it could possibly end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.
We’re going to keep fighting to protect April and Jayne and their children for as long as it takes, but we need your help.
Talk about the case with your friends, keep sending us your good wishes and consider giving the fight your financial support. We’ve made it this far with the help of many generous donors, and we’re going to need a lot of help again as we defend this win on appeal.
This has been a truly amazing case to be involved in. It has been wonderful working with and getting to know April and Jayne, and I have heard touching stories from many folks about how this case is affecting them, their friends, relatives or co-workers. We have also seen first-hand how public opinion in Michigan is shifting right before our eyes.
With the support of amazing friends across our state, we hope this is the last time loving couples like April and Jayne have to prove that they are the same as any other couple.
To talk about the sweeping changes we've seen in the last decade and look at some upcoming challenges, we're talking about Marriage Matters. This series of blogs deals with the history of the fight for LGBT rights and takes an in-depth look at the DeBoer case, which could impact marriage equality in Michigan and beyond.
Guest post from Ken Mogill, part of the legal team for April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse