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Mich. gay marriage trial ends with state witness testifying gays are going to hell

Thursday, March 6, 2014
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DETROIT — Testimony concluded Thursday in a federal court challenge to Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage, with a witness for the state testifying that unrepentant homosexuals are going to hell.

Douglas Allen, a Canadian economist who has researched 60 same-sex parenting studies during a 15-year period, warned that Michigan should uphold its ban on same-sex marriage because there “is no evidence on the child outcome issue.”

Simon Fraser UniversityDouglas Allen

Simon Fraser University
Douglas Allen

But it was Allen’s personal views on homosexuality that emerged following a question from plaintiffs’ attorney Ken Mogill, reported the Detroit Free Press.

“Is it accurate that you believe the consequence of engaging in homosexual acts is a separation from God and eternal damnation?” Mogill asked the state’s expert, then added, “in other words, they’re going to hell.”

“Without repentance, yes,” answered Allen.

Allen, who has testified in three other same-sex marriage trials, is the last witness to testify in the nine-day-long trial in which two lesbian nurses are seeking to overturn the state’s ban on gay marriage.

Among his conclusions:

  • Girls raised by two gay men are only 15 percent as likely to graduate from high school compared to girls raised a mother and father.
  • Girls raised by two lesbian mothers are about 45 percent as likely to graduate from high school compared to those raised a mother and father.

  • Boys raised by two lesbian mothers are 76 percent as likely to graduate high school compared to boys raised by married heterosexuals.

  • Boys raised by two gay men are 60 percent as likely to graduate compared to boys raised by married heterosexuals.

Allen was one of four witnesses called by the state, all of which denied having any biases toward same-sex couples, and who said their research was based on numbers, not views.

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April DeBoer, 42, and Jayne Rowse, 49, sued in 2012 to try to overturn a Michigan law that bars them from adopting each other’s children, but the case was expanded when U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman invited couple to amend their suit to challenge the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, “the underlying issue.”

Rowse and DeBoer did not testify, although the state agreed with a statement read into evidence that describes them as “responsible and caring parents” who are providing a loving home to their children.

It is the first U.S. trial over a same-sex marriage ban since a California trial in 2010, although federal judges in other ways recently have struck down similar bans in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia and Texas. At least 17 states and the District of Columbia now allow marriage between same-sex couples.

The state has defended the constitutional amendment as a way to promote family stability through households led by a man and a woman.

Closing arguments in the case are expected to begin Friday.

Follow the case: DeBoer v. Snyder.

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