State Spent $40,000 on Testimony in DeBoer Case, Plans Appeal

State Spent $40,000 on Testimony in DeBoer Case, Plans Appealctechad

(Crystal A. Proxmire, March 24, 2014)

According to the Associated Press, the State of Michigan has spent about $40,000 so far on expert testimony in the DeBoer v. Snyder trial. More bills are expected to come, said Joy Yearout, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Bill Schuette. In a ruling Friday evening, 6th Circuit Federal Court Judge Bernard Friedman ruled that it was unconstitutional for the state to prohibit adults of the same gender from obtaining a marriage license. Seventeen states currently recognize same sex marriage, and Michigan joins Utah, Oklahoma, Virgina and Texas as states where the marriages have been legalized by courts, but are currently on hold pending appeals.

Attorney General Bill Schuette brought in witnesses from around the country to testify, most of whom BTLWeddingExpo_144x360were found to be not credible or believable.

The Judge dismissed completely the testimony of University of Texas sociology professor Mark Regnerus, who claimed that LGBT parenting was not up to par with parents of the opposite sex. “The Court finds Regnerus’s testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration…Regnerus’s own sociology department at the University of Texas has distanced itself from … Dr. Regnerus’s views.”

The State had also presented a Yale law student as their first expert witness, who was not even permitted to tesity. 27-year-old Sherif Girgis is student of law and philosophy who wrote a book against same-sex marriage. The Plaintiff’s side pointed out his lack of credentials and the fact that he is still being graded by his professors.pride2014ad

“I have no doubt that someday you will make a very good expert witness, but for now you only have your opinion,” Judge Friedman said before dismissing him

After the ruling, over 300 couples got married, with licenses issued in Oakland, Washtenaw, Ingham and Muskegon Counties.

Schuette was able to get a stay in the case, meaning that marriages have been temporarily put on a hold. The court is expected to decide Wednesday whether or not it will allow marriages to resume, or whether they will need to wait until the appeals process is complete. In the meantime, Snyder’s office has stated that State sidebar01sponsoragencies will not recognize the marriages that took place Saturday, until the court has made a further ruling on the stay.

Equality Michigan and other LGBT groups, along with County Clerks from Ingham and Washtenaw Counties, are asking Governor Snyder to stop the appeals process and allow same sex couples the freedom to marry.

“We are asking Governor Snyder and Attorney General Schuette to please end their efforts fighting the arrival of marriage equality in Michigan,” says the Equality Michigan website. “Imagine what it would be like to be denied the chance to lead a happy, meaningful life with the person you love, or if the government treated you and your spouse like legal strangers instead of family.

“We must end the second-class treatment of LGBT families in Michigan. Rather than siding with the people of Michigan, Schuette and Snyder are wasting tax-payer dollars defending a ban on marriage equality that harms Michigan families – and that the people of Michigan no longer even want.” The group has a page on their website for people to sign an online petition and leave comments about why they think Michigan leadership should protect the right of people to get married. More information is available at

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