News (USA)

Couple that challenged gay marriage ban finally to wed

Couple that challenged gay marriage ban finally to wed
WJBK-TVJayne Rowse (left) and April DeBoer
Jayne Rowse (left) and April DeBoer

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse — the two Michigan women who legally challenged the state’s ban on gay marriage — are expected to exchange vows during a ceremony in suburban Detroit.

Federal Judge Bernard Friedman, who overturned the state’s ban in 2014, will perform their wedding Saturday afternoon in Southfield.

“It seems very right to have him be the one to perform” the ceremony, DeBoer has said.

More than 200 people have been invited to the wedding which is not open to the public, according to DeBoer.

DeBoer and Rowse, both hospital nurses, are raising four adopted children at their Hazel Park home.

In 2012, they sued the state which at the time barred them from jointly adopting each other’s children because same-sex couples couldn’t marry in Michigan. Their case grew into a challenge to a 2004 Michigan constitutional amendment that recognized marriage only between a man and a woman.

About 300 same-sex couples were married last year when gay marriage was allowed in Michigan for about 24 hours. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court said same-sex couples have a right to marry.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder said Michigan would follow the law and that state agencies will make the necessary changes to ensure full compliance.

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