Michigan County Clerk Sides With Same-Sex Couple Challenging Marriage Amendment

The Michigan county clerk named in a suit filed by a lesbian family seeking marriage and adoption rights has sided with the couple, arguing the state’s ban on same-sex marriage violates their equal protection under the law. Lisa Brown (D) was elected as Oakland County Clerk in November 2012, instantly involving her in the case, but she opted not to side with her co-defendants Gov. Rick Snyder (R) and Attorney General Bill Schuette (R). While they are defending the amendment preventing April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse from legally unifying as a family with their children, Brown argues the judge should rule that the ban violates the couple’s rights:

Enter judgment declaring that the provisions of the Michigan Marriage Amendment which prohibit same sex marriage violates the Plaintiffs’ rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution; Enter judgment declaring that same sex couples otherwise qualified to marry one another, may not be denied a marriage license application, a marriage license, a marriage certificate, or be prevented from exercising the right to civil marriage by virtue of seeking to marry a partner of the same sex; and

Enter judgment declaring that children of same sex couples who wish to marry under Michigan law may not be denied the legitimacy, rights, protections, benefits, support, security, and obligations conferred on children whose parents wish to marry and are permitted to marry under Michigan law.

During her campaign, Brown promised to “restore integrity to the clerk’s office.” By siding with the family, she seems to be following through on that promise.


(HT: Kathleen Perrin.)