WASHINGTON -- On Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the legality of same-sex marriage stemming from cases in four different states, including Michigan.
Michigan's case began in 2012 when April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, a lesbian couple from Metro Detroit, sued to challenge the state's ban on gay marriage after they found they were not legally able to adopt each other's children.
Grand Rapids attorney John Bursch, hired by the Michigan Attorney General's Office, will argue on behalf of upholding the state's ban citing a 2004 referendum when voters supported upholding the traditional definition of marriage as defined in the state constitution.
The decision to hear the case at the Supreme Court level came after a U.S. District Court judge ruled the Michgian's ban unconstitutional last March. However, a stay on the ruling was issued just a day later. An appeals court ultimately voted to uphold the ban, setting the issue up to heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court announced in January it would hear the case along with three other cases from Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky.
There are two questions that will be at the heart of the arguments heard Tuesday:
- Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?
- Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed in another state?
There will be 90 minutes allowed for oral arguments on the first question, and one hour for oral arguments on the second question.
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