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Michigan Marriage Case Also Appealed to Supreme Court

Michigan Marriage Case Also Appealed to Supreme Court

Michigan Marriage Case Also Appealed to Supreme Court

Might the Supreme Court pick a Michigan case to consider marriage equality?

The Michigan couple at the center of a legal challenge to their state's ban on same-sex marriage is set to appeal to the Supreme Court today, joining cases from neighboring states also affected by a federal ruling that upheld state bans.

The Sixth Circuit ruled last week that statewide bans on same-sex marriage are constitutional, breaking with numerous other circuit courts, and leaving couples in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee looking to the U.S. Supreme Court for help.

Ohio cases were appealed on Friday, including the Obergefell v. Hodges challenge to the state's policy on death certificates when one member of a married same-sex couple dies, and Henry v. Hodges, in which the state is asked to issue accurate birth certificates to the adopted children of legally married same-sex couples.

The Michigan case involves lesbian couple Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer, who want to jointly adopt their three children. But to make that happen, Michigan's voter-approved ban on recognizing same-sex marriages would have to be overturned. 

Meanwhile, Michigan's Republican governor and attorney general have filed a brief claiming marriages are void for 300 same-sex couples who were wed during a window in March when the ban had been struck down by a district court and before a stay was issued by the circuit court. Lawyers said the marriages "never existed" because the circuit court ended up ruling against them.

The Supreme Court has previously skipped a chance to consider these sorts of issues in cases from across the country, but in all of those the circuit courts involved had sided with overturning state bans, and the Supreme Court's decision to stay out of it meant couples could begin marrying. 

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