Couple's challenge to Michigan's gay marriage ban begins

Women want to marry so they can adopt children together, but Michigan's law does not allow same-sex marriage

DETROIT – April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse walked past protesters Tuesday before talking to reporters.

"We love our children. This started out (about) our children. This is still about our children," said DeBoer.

View: Tuesday's courtroom blog

DeBoer has adopted a girl while Rowse has adopted two boys. Under Michigan law they are not allowed to adopt together because they are not legally married. Their lawyer, Carole Stanyar, told the court "these two women are heroes."

"Together they took in babies left behind -- special needs children. They loved all of them. They gave them what they needed. All of them are thriving," said Stanyar.

Her first expert witness was psychologist David Brodzinsky.

"It's not the gender of the parent that's the key. It's the quality of the parenting of whoever is there," he said.

Meanwhile, members of a group of Ypsilanti churches said they object to same sex marriage on religious grounds.