News (USA)

Reagan picked ‘activist judge’ who threw out Mich. same-sex marriage ban

DETROIT — The judge who made history by throwing out Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage has been on the federal bench for 26 years.

Bernard Friedman
U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman

Bernard Friedman was appointed in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan. The 70-year-old Friedman was a District Court judge in Oakland County before getting a big promotion to federal court in Detroit.

Friedman was the court’s chief judge for 4 ½ years until 2009.

On Friday, Friedman released his 31-page ruling exactly two weeks after a rare trial that mostly focused on the impact of same-sex parenting on children. The challenge was brought by two Detroit-area nurses originally seeking to overturn Michigan’s ban on joint adoptions by gay couples.

The judge noted that supporters of same-sex marriage believe the Michigan ban was at least partly the result of animosity toward gays and lesbians.

Conservative opponents of same-sex marriage have frequently labeled judges as “activist judges” for striking down gay marriage bans.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

Mich. plaintiffs celebrate on hearing news that marriage ban struck down

Previous article

Some Mich. counties moving quickly to issue marriage licenses to gay couples

Next article