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DeBoer attorney says SCOTUS arguments will focus on children

Outside the U.S. Supreme Court.
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The Supreme Court ruled in favor Fred Phelps and the funeral protestors

Attorneys for April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse say their challenge before the U.S. Supreme Court to Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban focus on the harmful effects on children.

This is the first round of briefs to be filed since the Supreme Court agreed to hear challenges to same-sex marriage bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

DeBoer and Rowse filed their challenge to win the right to jointly adopt the special needs kids they’re raising together. Carole Stanyar is one of their attorneys. She says their argument zeroes in the humiliating effect of the marriage ban on children.

“These laws cause serious, persistent, wide-ranging injury to children,” said Stanyar. “Marriage brings stability to families. It tells children that they have and will always have two parents. For children of same-sex parents, allowing their parents to marry dispels the notion that their families are inferior or second-tier…” 

“Children lose important economic protections – health insurance, Social Security, disability benefits, survivor benefits, and we know from the social science consensus that children need adequate resources to thrive.”

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says he’s defending the right of states and voters to decide, but he’s looking forward to the Supreme Court settling the issue once and for all.

“All of Michigan’s voters, as well as the citizens of our great nation, will be well served by the court’s decision to decide this case and resolve such important issue,” Schuette said in a written statement.   “I am pleased that the Supreme Court has chosen to review this case, so that important issues involving the fundamental institution of marriage, our Constitution and the rights of voters will be decided.  Court cases by their very nature create an adversarial atmosphere between those representing the two sides of an argument.  But in a democracy, reasonable people can disagree without being disagreeable.  We look forward to the oral arguments being scheduled soon.”

Oral arguments will likely take place the final week of April with a decision from the court expected this summer.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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