Michigan

Federal judge sets date for fall showdown on Mich. gay marriage ban

April DeBoer, second from left, sits with her adopted daughter Ryanne, 3, left, and Jayne Rowse, fourth from left, and her adopted sons Jacob, 3, middle, and Nolan, 4, right, at their home in Hazel Park, Mich.
Photo: Paul Sancya, AP LGBTQ Nation

DETROIT — A federal judge says he’ll hear arguments Oct. 1 on the legality of Michigan‘s ban on gay marriage and adoption by same-sex couples.

Photo: Paul Sancya, AP
April DeBoer, second from left, sits with her adopted daughter Ryanne, 3, left, and Jayne Rowse, fourth from left, and her adopted sons Jacob, 3, middle, and Nolan, 4, right, at their home in Hazel Park, Mich.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman set the date Wednesday in what could be a ground-breaking lawsuit filed by two Detroit-area nurses who are lesbians.

Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer and three adopted children live under one roof in Hazel Park. But Michigan law bars the women from jointly adopting each other’s kids.

At the judge’s suggestion, the lawsuit was expanded last year to also challenge a 2004 constitutional amendment that recognizes marriage in Michigan as only between a man and a woman. Rowse and DeBoer say the amendment and the adoption law violate their rights.

Friedman recently turned down the state’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.

Developing story, check back for update.

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