Winning Streak Continues as Michigan Ban on Marriage for Gay Couples Ruled Unconstitutional

3/21/2014

Reagan Appointee Becomes Ninth Federal Judge to Rule Against Marriage Discrimination

Press Contact:
Angela Dallara
Media Relations Manager, Freedom to Marry
angela@freedomtomarry.org
646-430-3925

New York – In the first trial on marriage for gay couples since California’s Hollingsworth v. Perry – and only the second since the first-ever freedom to marry trial in Hawaii in 1996 -- a federal judge today issued a landmark ruling that Michigan’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples is unconstitutional. Following last year’s Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Windsor, Judge Bernard Friedman is the ninth consecutive federal judge to issue such a ruling overturning state marriage discrimination on constitutional grounds.

Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:

“The discriminatory ban is untrue to Michigan’s – and America’s – values, and the judge was right to strike it down. It’s time that all committed couples in Michigan be treated with respect and dignity under the law, fully able to share in the freedom to marry and the responsibilities and protections marriage brings. Today’s win comes after a full trial -- complete with prosecutors and defendants, witness cross-examinations, and testimony from family experts on the well-being of children -- which showed that opponents have nothing more than the same bogus claims they have recycled for decades. They were simply unable to provide a single legitimate reason why committed same-sex couples should be excluded from marriage. Michigan, like all of America, is ready for the freedom to marry.

Michigan’s DeBoer v. Snyder is only the third full trial on the freedom to marry in history, following trials in Hawaii and California. Wolfson served as co-counsel in Hawaii’s Baehr v. Miike, the first-ever trial on the freedom to marry and the first high court decision to rule in favor of the freedom to marry.

54% of Michigan residents support the freedom to marry, according to a 2014 Michigan State University poll.

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Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.