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The Law Blogger is a law-related blog that informs and discusses current matters of legal interest to readers of The Oakland Press and to consumers of legal services in the community. We hope readers will  find it entertaining but also informative. The Law Blogger does not, however, impart legal advice, as only attorneys are licensed to provide legal counsel.
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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Michigan's Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption Case: Battle of the Experts

The family at the heart of the case.
To be sure, there will be a "battle of the experts" in Downtown Detroit this week and next at the Theodore Levin federal courthouse.  Today is the commencement of the trial ordered by U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman between the lesbian couple seeking to overturn Michigan's adoption and same-sex marriage laws on equal protection grounds, and Michigan's Governor and Attorney General who seek to enforce our state law ban on such arrangements.

Of course there is much publicity surrounding the case today on the Internet; and for a very good reason.  This case stands out among all the same-sex cases percolating across our nation for the reason that Judge Friedman declined to grant either side's dispositive motions back in October, electing to evaluate evidence in the case during a scheduled two-week trial.

Now, bring on the experts.  Both sides claim to be able to support their case with "scientific" evidence.

For their part, the lesbian couple -April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse- plan to capitalize on expert testimony from new studies that conclude children raised by same-sex couples have just as much promise and opportunity as children raised by traditional parents.  Their lawyer told the Freep yesterday:
We have sociologists, child growth experts, and psychologists (who) uniformly agree that child outcomes for children raised by gays and lesbians is just as promising as those kids raised by heterosexuals.
 The State of Michigan's legal team has its own arsenal of experts to provide testimony in this case.  In addition, it has been beating the drum that Judge Friedman, sitting in federal court, should not be making this decision because the voters of Michigan decided the issue via voter initiative back in 2004.

Judge Friedman had the opportunity to make a legal ruling on the merits of the respective positions last October, but ordered a trial instead.  We here at the Law Blogger now wonder whether this trial will be an exposition of modern child development theory, or a parade of junk science.  Stay tuned to be enlightened on these issues.

Whatever Judge Friedman decides, he will be appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati sometime later this year; the case could be headed to the SCOTUS.

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