Judge looking at Mich. gay marriage ban

There are 20 comments on the ClickOnDetroit story from Mar 6, 2013, titled Judge looking at Mich. gay marriage ban. In it, ClickOnDetroit reports that:

A lesbian couple's desire to adopt each other's children has grown into a potentially groundbreaking challenge to Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at ClickOnDetroit.

“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

#22 Mar 7, 2013
snyper wrote:
<quoted text>Isn't this the SAME Judge that counseled them to add the Marriage to their Petition?
Yes.... And?

“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

#23 Mar 7, 2013
WeTheSheeple wrote:
<quoted text>Yep, that's the one. I do find it odd that he would enourage them to challenge the marraige ban but then turn around and put it on hold.

It's odd alright.
My timing might be off here, but didn't he make that suggestion before we knew if the SCOTUS was going to take the two cases we're waiting to hear answers on?

I don't find it odd that he put the case on hold, though. It suggests to me that he figures if he waits, he might not have to rule at all. I take it as a good sign for our side.

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#24 Mar 7, 2013
WeTheSheeple wrote:
<quoted text>
Yep, that's the one. I do find it odd that he would enourage them to challenge the marraige ban but then turn around and put it on hold.
It's odd alright.
And doesn't that kind of require him to recuse himself on the marriage issue?

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

#25 Mar 8, 2013
eJohn wrote:
<quoted text>
My timing might be off here, but didn't he make that suggestion before we knew if the SCOTUS was going to take the two cases we're waiting to hear answers on?
I don't find it odd that he put the case on hold, though. It suggests to me that he figures if he waits, he might not have to rule at all. I take it as a good sign for our side.
You're correct; I believe he made that suggestion last August, and the SCOTUS didn't decide to take the cases until after the November elections.

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

#26 Mar 8, 2013
snyper wrote:
<quoted text>
And doesn't that kind of require him to recuse himself on the marriage issue?
It was his suggestion, so I doubt he'd recuse himself.

I think he was basically saying that without challenging the marriage ban they essentially had no case for their adoption argument since Michigan law bans all non-married couples from 2nd parent adoption- gay or straight- but allows 2nd parent adoption for married couples.

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#27 Mar 8, 2013
WeTheSheeple wrote:
<quoted text>
It was his suggestion, so I doubt he'd recuse himself.
I think he was basically saying that without challenging the marriage ban they essentially had no case for their adoption argument since Michigan law bans all non-married couples from 2nd parent adoption- gay or straight- but allows 2nd parent adoption for married couples.
In my book, the moment a Judge effectively chooses sides by giving constructive case advice to one of the parties to the dispute, impartiality is lost and recusal becomes mandatory.

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

#28 Mar 8, 2013
snyper wrote:
<quoted text>
In my book, the moment a Judge effectively chooses sides by giving constructive case advice to one of the parties to the dispute, impartiality is lost and recusal becomes mandatory.
I don't see it as him "choosing sides". I see it as him telling them the only way to challenge the adoption law is to challenge the marriage law. Judges often give constructive advice to one or both parties.

“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

#29 Mar 8, 2013
WeTheSheeple wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't see it as him "choosing sides". I see it as him telling them the only way to challenge the adoption law is to challenge the marriage law. Judges often give constructive advice to one or both parties.
Yep! I've been thinking about this case a lot over the past few days. I think he realized that the law banning unmarried couples from jointly adopting children actually makes a lot of sense when it comes to the best interests of the children. A couple that's eligible to marry but chooses not to is forgoing a great deal of legal protections for their family and likely not the best adoptive parent material to be being with.

But in this case, we have a couple that would be HAPPY to marry, if they could. But the hate-based anti-marriage amendment the idiots voted in a few years go stands in their way. THAT is the problem, not the adoption law.

I think this one is brilliant. Who better to take care of these kids than two nurses?? My understanding is that all three of these kids are special needs kids that would be basically unadoptable in most situations, yet these two women want to adopt them and take responsibility for them.

What, other than hate and animus, could possibly stand in their way?

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

#30 Mar 8, 2013
eJohn wrote:
<quoted text>
Yep! I've been thinking about this case a lot over the past few days. I think he realized that the law banning unmarried couples from jointly adopting children actually makes a lot of sense when it comes to the best interests of the children. A couple that's eligible to marry but chooses not to is forgoing a great deal of legal protections for their family and likely not the best adoptive parent material to be being with.
But in this case, we have a couple that would be HAPPY to marry, if they could. But the hate-based anti-marriage amendment the idiots voted in a few years go stands in their way. THAT is the problem, not the adoption law.
I think this one is brilliant. Who better to take care of these kids than two nurses?? My understanding is that all three of these kids are special needs kids that would be basically unadoptable in most situations, yet these two women want to adopt them and take responsibility for them.
What, other than hate and animus, could possibly stand in their way?
Agreed. I like how you spell out the difference between a couple who CHOOSES not to marry versus a couple PROHIBITED from marrying.

Since: Jun 11

AOL

#31 Mar 8, 2013
I wonder if it would help them if they were married in Canada, or one of the nearby states that recognize marriage equality.

Same sex couples can now go to Niagara Falls and get married on either side.

Since: Jun 11

AOL

#32 Mar 8, 2013
snyper wrote:
<quoted text>
Sometimes I could just kiss you !!!
Excellent!
Sometimes the courts get it right, don't they.

Another favorite:(Writing of the founding fathers) "They knew times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress." (Justice Kennedy in Lawrence.)

Expanded version: "Had those who drew and ratified the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth Amendment or the Fourteenth Amendment known the components of liberty in its manifold possibilities, they might have been more specific. They did not presume to have this insight. They knew times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress. As the Constitution endures, persons in every generation can invoke its principles in their own search for greater freedom."

“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

#33 Mar 8, 2013
Not Yet Equal wrote:
I wonder if it would help them if they were married in Canada, or one of the nearby states that recognize marriage equality.
Same sex couples can now go to Niagara Falls and get married on either side.
Nope. A same-sex couple can have legal marriage licenses from every state and country where it's legal and the State of Michigan will simply ignore them all.

After my husband and I got married in New York last fall, SO many of our (non-gay) friends kept asking us if we got any rights at all in Michigan that I finally asked our attorney, just to be sure we weren't missing something. She said, "Nope. Not yet. Currently, you get nothing in this state. Hopefully that will change soon, but I'm not holding my breath."

I'm not, either, unless the SCOTUS gives us a really big and pleasant surprise come June....

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

#34 Mar 8, 2013
eJohn wrote:
<quoted text>
"Ploy"?? He simply realizes, and rightly so, that whatever the Scotus rules in June-ish will very likely have a direct effect on his ruling in those case. How is that a "ploy"?
If the Scotus rules that same-sex couple have a constitutional right to marriage equality, this judge doesn't have to rule at all. If decide the states can practice all the hate and abuse they want to on law-abiding citizens, he'll have to decide if that's okay in Michigan or not.
See how easy?
Yes, sounds like a ploy. First the judge tells the couple that they should challenge the marriage law. Then he waits for the ruling on DOMA. If it's favorable, he'll see how it can be leveraged to support the plaintiffs.

Since: Jun 11

AOL

#35 Mar 8, 2013
eJohn wrote:
<quoted text>
Nope. A same-sex couple can have legal marriage licenses from every state and country where it's legal and the State of Michigan will simply ignore them all.
After my husband and I got married in New York last fall, SO many of our (non-gay) friends kept asking us if we got any rights at all in Michigan that I finally asked our attorney, just to be sure we weren't missing something. She said, "Nope. Not yet. Currently, you get nothing in this state. Hopefully that will change soon, but I'm not holding my breath."
I'm not, either, unless the SCOTUS gives us a really big and pleasant surprise come June....
In court, the question would be different though. It would not be "should Mi. let us get married" but rather "why won't Mi. recognize our legal marriage from NY, Canada, etc."

Again, not sure it would make much difference, but the court would know they are dealing with a married couple rather than two legal strangers who want to adopt.

“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

#36 Mar 8, 2013
Not Yet Equal wrote:
<quoted text>
In court, the question would be different though. It would not be "should Mi. let us get married" but rather "why won't Mi. recognize our legal marriage from NY, Canada, etc."
Again, not sure it would make much difference, but the court would know they are dealing with a married couple rather than two legal strangers who want to adopt.
There's a good article by the Christian Science Monitor on this case that just posted here to Topix:

http://www.topix.com/news/gay/2013/03/michiga...

Is says that court papers indicate the two women exchanged vows at a commitment ceremony in 2007, but, of course, it's not legally recognized in this state.

So, yeah, you're right. The issue might be slightly different, but the base problem is exactly the same--the bigots here voted in an anti-marriage "we hate the gays" constitutional amendment a few years ago that bans absolutely ANY recognition of ANY relationship that's not 1 man/1 woman.

What's interesting to me is that, once again, it looks like their hate-based over-reach might just shoot them in the foot. It's only because the bigots here ALSO adopted a law forbidding unmarried couples from adopting that this couple is able to challenge the anti-marriage law.

And, while I generally support laws that require a couple to be married in order to adopt children (generally, not totally), our law in Michigan was put into place with a specific anti-gay purpose. It was done in response to a Lesbian couple being allowed to have a second parent adoption for the couple's twin boys that one of them carried and gave birth to. The hate-mongers had a cow over (GASP!) children having two loving parents, raised hell in Lansing, and the bigots up there put in the "no marriage/no adoption" ban to keep the gays out.

Nice, huh? But it may shoot them in the foot after all... Let's hope!!

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#37 Mar 8, 2013
eJohn wrote:
<quoted text>
Nope. A same-sex couple can have legal marriage licenses from every state and country where it's legal and the State of Michigan will simply ignore them all.
After my husband and I got married in New York last fall, SO many of our (non-gay) friends kept asking us if we got any rights at all in Michigan that I finally asked our attorney, just to be sure we weren't missing something. She said, "Nope. Not yet. Currently, you get nothing in this state. Hopefully that will change soon, but I'm not holding my breath."
I'm not, either, unless the SCOTUS gives us a really big and pleasant surprise come June....
It would certainly help them in providing an FF&C component to their petition, especially if they got the most highly-placed Judge they could find in D.C. to do their ceremony. Sometimes swank matters.

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

#38 Mar 8, 2013
snyper wrote:
<quoted text>
It would certainly help them in providing an FF&C component to their petition, especially if they got the most highly-placed Judge they could find in D.C. to do their ceremony. Sometimes swank matters.
FF&C has never been applied to marriage laws; it's always been part of the public policy exception.

Due process & equal protection- Yes.
FF&C- no.

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#39 Mar 8, 2013
WeTheSheeple wrote:
<quoted text>
FF&C has never been applied to marriage laws; it's always been part of the public policy exception.
Due process & equal protection- Yes.
FF&C- no.
It needs to be pushed.
Robert Schiavell

Dallas, TX

#40 Mar 8, 2013
...as soon as this issue get to the Supreme Court bans will be lifted nationwide. Let's get this over with.

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

#41 Mar 8, 2013
snyper wrote:
<quoted text>
It needs to be pushed.
Why would you push the LEAST likely argument (FF&C), instead of what has been proven to work in the past (due process or equal protection)?

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