News (USA)

AUDIO: Michigan same-sex marriage ban faces federal appeals court

AUDIO: Michigan same-sex marriage ban faces federal appeals court
Michigan plaintiffs
Michigan plaintiffs Freedom to Marry

A three-judge panel is now considering whether Michigan’s laws barring same-sex marriage are constitutional.

Attorneys representing multiple same-sex couples from four states told judges from the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati on Wednesday that’s there’s no rational reason for barring same-sex couples from getting married.

The afternoon of arguments opened with Michigan’s solicitor general, Aaron Lindstrom, saying that any change in the state’s ban on same-sex marriage should come through the political process.

“The most basic right we have as a people is to decide public policy questions on our own,” he said.

But attorney Carole Stanyar, who represents the plaintiffs in that case, countered that fundamental constitutional rights shouldn’t be decided in popular votes.

Michigan’s gay marriage fight began when a lesbian couple sued to change a state law that bars them from jointly adopting their three children.

Though the case was narrowly focused at first, it changed significantly when a judge noted that the joint adopting ban was related to Michigan’s bans on gay marriage. So the couple, Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer, of suburban Detroit, expanded their lawsuit, and both gay marriage bans were struck down in March.

It’s not known when the judges will rule.

Audio here:

Michigan audio

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