The Michigan couple whose lawsuit was one of those that led to June’s Supreme Court marriage equality ruling got married on Saturday.
The officiant was U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman, who had heard DeBoer and Rowse’s 2012 lawsuit challenging the Michigan law that prevented them from jointly adopting their children; unmarried couples could not adopt jointly. He told them they needed to challenge the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, so they did.
They won at the trial court level, in a ruling by Friedman, but his decision was overturned by a federal appeals court, so their case became one of four consolidated before the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry nationwide. The other cases were from Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The Michigan case stands out among those before the Supreme Court as the only case that had a full trial, with expert witness testimony that created a factual record for the Supreme Court to consider in its ruling.
The children then took vows adopting each woman as their “legal mommy,” the News reports. DeBoer is currently legal parent to their two daughters, Rowse to their two sons, and they are in the process of filing paperwork so that they can both be legal parents to all the children.
The women will now take the hyphenated name of DeBoer-Rowse. Both are nurses, and the family lives in the Detroit suburb of Hazel Park.
Watch video from the ceremony below, via the News.
Photos courtesy of Robin Tyler