Michigan stumbles in court defending gay marriage ban

same-sex marriage, gay marriage in New Jersey
A wedding cake is seen at a reception for same-sex couples at The Abbey in West Hollywood, California, July 1, 2013. Credit: Reuters

The Michigan defense of its same-sex marriage ban got off to a rough start on Monday when its first witness at a federal trial was dismissed for not being qualified, dealing a blow in what may be an uphill battle to keep its law on the books.

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 constitutional amendment.

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.

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.

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sister of accused Boston Marathon bombers arrested for…

The sister of the accused Boston Marathon bombers was arrested in New York City for threatening a woman over the phone, saying she could "put a bomb on you," police…

Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Labor Day in NYC: Make the last weekend…

Soon, it’ll be time for wool accessories and knee-high boots. Even the Pumpkin Spice Latte has already arrived — but we still have one last…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…