DETROIT - Advocates of same sex marriage and adoption have called several experts to testify that children raised in same-sex homes flourish. Attorneys for the State of Michigan are trying to refute that with experts of their own. So where does the trial go from here?
It boils down to a dual between the experts. The Michigan Attorney General's Office, which supports the same-sex marriage ban, will put its witnesses on next week. The lawyers representing a lesbian couple put their final witness on the stand Friday.
The final witness for April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse was Nancy Cott, a Harvard history professor. She testified that laws once banned interracial marriage and denied women property rights. Those laws no longer exist.
"History shows changes made in marriage to bring it up to date have only been beneficial to the institution," Cott said.
DeBoer and Rowse want the right to marry in order to jointly adopt the children they're raising.
Three other witnesses testified this week, and there is no evidence that children raised by same-sex couples succeed at any different rate than those raised by traditional parents. That's the key issue being considered by federal judge Bernard Friedman. The Michigan Attorney General says voters in 2004 had the right to ban same-sex marriage as a way to encourage traditional marriage.
The state's witnesses will testify starting Monday, including Sherif Girgis, author of "What Is Marriage?" and Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas. Regnerus says his research shows kids do better when raised by a married mother and father.
Also testifying Monday will be Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown, who supports DeBoer and Rowse despite her office being sued for prohibiting marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
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