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Michigan AG delivers state's defense of same-sex marriage ban

Mar 27, 2015

Credit U.S. Supreme Court

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's office has delivered the state's defense of its same-sex marriage ban to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The state’s 59-page brief focuses largely on states’ rights. The attorney general argues the case is not specifically about marriage, but who gets to decide the question.

From the brief’s summation:

This case is not about the best definition of marriage or any stereotypes about families. Families

come in all types, and parents of all types — married or single, gay or straight — love their children. This case is about whether the Fourteenth Amendment imposes a single marriage view on all states such that the people have no right to decide. It does not.

The brief says the U.S. Constitution is silent on the issue, so the decision on defining who can get married is left to states or their voters. The brief says Michigan voters made a reasonable choice when they approved the ban in 2004, and only they should be allowed to reverse it.

April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse are the lesbian couple challenging the ban. They say it violates their equal protection rights and the equal protections rights of the children they are raising together, but cannot jointly adopt.

Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee will also defend marriage bans when the Supreme Court hears arguments in the case next month.