Hazel Park Couple’s Big Win Means Marriage Equality Across the Country

GallowayCollensTOPsunsetREVISEDHazel Park Couple’s Big Win Detroit_GT_ad03Means Marriage Equality Across the Country

(C. Proxmire, June 26, 2015)

The United States Supreme Court has ruled in favor of marriage equality. In a 5-4 decision it said same sex couples have a fundamental right to marry.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion “No union is more profound than blumz01marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family,” he wrote. “In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.

“It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

Justices John Roberts, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas voted against honoring marriage steele lindbloom adequality.

In honor of the ruling, The White House made its Twitter avatar a rainbow.

A couple from Hazel Park Michigan were one of the cases at the heart of the ruling. April and Jayne DeBoer-Rowse are two ER nurses who are now, together, raising four adoptive children. They originally sued The State of Michigan and Oakland County for the right to jointly adopt. The case evolved with the judge suggesting they add marriage into their claim. After a couple years the case made its way to the Supreme Court.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette appealed the case along the way, arguing that voters had decided to ban gay marriage. He issued a brief statement on the ruling, stating

“We will honor, respect and uphold the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States. We candlewickshoppeADblueare appreciative that a decision finally has been reached in this very significant issue.”

Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown was technically a defendant in the case because of her job position and being forced to deny licenses based on the ban.  She opened her office up after the District Court ruling in favor of the couple, and on that day 300 licenses were issued in Oakland, Ingham, Livingston and Muskegon Counties.

“I am elated and relieved by the Supreme Court’s ruling today regarding same-sex marriage,” Brown said. “No longer will my office, or any office in this country, be forced to discriminate against loving, committed same sex couples who want to get married.”

Augie Paniagua and David Batlemento, of Bloomfield Township, were the first to get a marriage license at the Oakland County Courthouse after the Supreme Court decision. They’ve been together 25 years.  Treasurer Andy Meisner was there to see the couple pick up the paperwork, seed_dc_02_anon_june2015though they are holding waiting to have a big ceremony.  “This is an historic day,” Meisner said.  “Our family wishes your family and all families a marriage full of love and happiness, officially equally recognized by your state and country. This is a huge step in the right direction, but much work remains for the cause of justice.”

Several County Clerks around the state waived the three day waiting period from picking up the license to making the vows official. In Ann Arbor’s Braun Court couples married under an trellis while crowds of people danced, ate, and celebrated around them.

DeBoer and Rowse did not take vows, but will.  “We haven’t planned yet because we wanted to make sure it was real first,” DeBoer said.  She said they had been hopeful about the case but had to be prepared just in case.

Being in the spotlight has not changed the day to day lives of the family, though the women did begin caring for a fourth special needs child.  In Ann Arbor the day was full of interviews, photo ops and celebrating.  But back home in Hazel Park life carries on with energetic kids, full time nursing jobs, and caring for the house.  “We knew there would be attention,” DeBoer said.  “The only way to change people’s hearts and minds is to show them a family they’re discriminating against.”

This story is being updated… please keep checking back for the latest.

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The oc115 has been following the DeBoer case from the very beginning, and the case that came from the resulting marriages. Here are our previous stories leading up to this point, and the video from the day 300 couples married:






MBREW draft onehttp://oaklandcounty115.com/2014/08/22/arguments-heard-in-same-sex-marriage-case/









lisa schmidt lawhttp://oaklandcounty115.com/2013/08/29/treasury-recognizes-all-same-sex-marriages-for-tax-purposes-2/

















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