DETROIT - A judge is refusing to dismiss a lawsuit by two women challenging Michigan's ban on gay marriage and joint adoptions by same-sex couples.
Detroit federal Judge Bernard Friedman says Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer "are entitled to their day in court." In a five-page ruling Monday, he told both sides to appear for a status hearing on July 10.
Friedman said he wants to discuss a trial date. He says last week's U.S. Supreme Court decision probably will be cited by the plaintiffs as well as state attorneys who are defending Michigan's 2004 ban on gay marriage.
In a statement, Attorney General Bill Schuette's office responded by saying, "We are disappointed in Judge Friedman's decision but we look forward to aggressively defending Michigan's constitution."
DeBoer and Rowse have three children with DeBoer adopting Ryanne, Rowse adopting Nolan and Jacob.
"I think I'd be foolish to tell you I wasn't nervous," said DeBoer. "I think we're more excited and hopeful than we are nervous. This is what we wanted, this is the end result we wanted. We just want to be a family."
The Supreme Court struck down part of a federal law barring government benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married. But the court also says states have power to define marriage.
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