Last week, two federal judges ruled same-sex marriage restrictions
in Texas and Kentucky were unconstitutional, the latest in a string
of court victories for gay rights advocates.
U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman said that Sherif Girgis, a
doctoral student in philosophy who wrote a book defending marriage
as between a man and woman, did not have enough accomplishments to
be considered an expert witness.
"Someday you're going to be a great witness, but you're not ready
yet," Friedman said.
In opposing gay marriage, Michigan has focused on the well-being of
children, arguing that their interests are best served by having
both a father and a mother, a position dismissed by gay rights
advocates and their allies.
The federal trial in Michigan started late last month and was
brought by April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, who live in a Detroit
suburb and are trying to adopt each other's children.
To do so, the couple — both nurses — are hoping to ease restrictions
that hinder same-sex couples from making such adoptions as well as
overturn a gay marriage ban approved by voters in 2004 as a state
Support for gay marriage has surged in the United States in the
decade since it first became legal in Massachusetts, with just over
half of Americans now supporting the idea, according to a survey
released last week.
[to top of second column]
In all, 17 states plus the District of Columbia recognize gay
marriage, including eight states where it became legal in 2013.
The trend has gathered steam since the U.S. Supreme Court in June
ruled that legally married same-sex couples nationwide are eligible
for federal benefits, striking down a key part of the 1996 federal
Defense of Marriage Act.
(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; editing by Andrew Hay)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.