What, I have to leave town for good things to happen in Michigan???

Cross-posted from Eclectablog, Washington Post's "Best State Political Blog" in Michigan.

I leave Michigan for a few days and then THIS happens? Turns out a Michigan judge has invited a Michigan lesbian couple who filed a complaint about not being allowed to adopt each others children to take it a step further and challenge our state's odious and discriminatory ban on same-sex marriage.

A lesbian couple's desire to adopt each other's children has grown into a potentially groundbreaking challenge to Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage.

Two Detroit-area nurses [Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer] filed a lawsuit to try to overturn restrictions on adoption by same-sex partners. But at the judge's invitation, the case took an extraordinary turn and now will test the legality of a 2004 constitutional amendment that stipulates Michigan only recognizes marriages between a man and a woman.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman will hear arguments in the case Thursday at a Detroit law school, although he hasn't indicated when he'll make a ruling. If he concludes the amendment violates the U.S. Constitution, gay-marriage supporters say same-sex couples would immediately be allowed to wed and adopt children. {...}

During a court hearing in August, the judge suddenly changed the case — and raised the stakes — when he said Rowse and DeBoer should consider challenging Michigan's ban on gay marriage, which was approved by 58 percent of voters nearly a decade ago. So they expanded their lawsuit to claim the prohibition violates the U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection Clause because it treats same-sex couples differently than heterosexual married couples.

This is a huge development and one sure to rock the foundations of hardcore bigots in our state who oppose anyone loving someone else who isn't of the opposite sex. Over half of Michiganders support allowing same-sex couples to marry so, at this point, it's truly just a matter of our laws catching up with our residents' position. Not surprisingly, the less educated you are, the more likely you are to hold homophobic views regarding same-sex marriage:
Among those with at least some college education, 63 percent favored gay marriage, while it was favored by only 26 percent of those who had never been to college.
In other words, it's our uneducated citizens that are holding the rest of us back. Again.

Godspeed to Jayne and April. We'll be following this story at Eclectablog with keen interest in the months to come.

[Photo credit: Chris Savage | Eclectablog]

Originally posted to Eclectablog - eclectic blogging for a better tomorrow on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 06:59 PM PST.

Also republished by Michigan, My Michigan, Kossacks for Marriage Equality, and Motor City Kossacks.

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