Irwin Disappointed in Delay for Same-Sex Marriage, Adoption

Federal judge orders trial in February
Wednesday, October 16, 2013

ANN ARBOR — State Representative Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) was disappointed in the outcome from U.S. District Court in Detroit, where Judge Bernard Friedman delayed ruling on Michigan’s prohibition on same-sex marriage and adoption until after a trial, scheduled to begin Feb. 25.

“It’s a shame, and unconstitutional, that children have fewer rights when they’re adopted by parents who cannot marry,” Irwin said. “Although I’m confident that equality will eventually triumph over discrimination, it’s a wrong that Michigan families have to wait even longer for equal treatment under the law.”

The lawsuit that prompted the ruling was brought by two Detroit-area nurses, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, who were barred from adopting children together by the Michigan Adoption Code and Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage. In January, Irwin introduced legislation, House Bill 4060, that would allow second-parent adoption in Michigan.

“Michigan families cannot afford to wait any longer for equal rights,” Irwin said. “I call on the Legislature to act promptly and pass the second-parent adoption bill. By passing this bill, the Legislature can remove a grave injustice from our state’s laws and affirm the right of all families to be treated fairly.”