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Marriage Equality

WATCH: Michigan Marriage Equality Plaintiffs Wed

WATCH: Michigan Marriage Equality Plaintiffs Wed

Watch--michigan-marriage-equality-plaintiffs-wedx400

April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, who helped bring down marriage bans nationwide, wed Saturday.

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The Michigan couple whose lawsuit was one of those that led to June's Supreme Court marriage equality ruling got married on Saturday.

DancingApril DeBoer and Jayne Rowse married at a banquet hall in Southfield, a suburb of Detroit, The Detroit News reports. There were about 250 guests, including the couple's four children, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, and California couple Robin Tyler and Diane Olson, who filed the first suit challenging their state's ban and became one of the first couples to marry there.

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.

Bonatox400At right: Mary Bonauto (center), who argued the marriage equality case before the Supreme Court, signs her name as a witness to Rowse (left) and DeBoer's marriage.

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.

Daughterx300"Every citizen of the United States that appreciates what our forefathers have done in equal protection ... every one of us owes you a big debt of gratitude," Friedman said at the ceremony, according to the News. This led to a standing ovation for the couple.

Young_sonx300In taking their vows, with their children beside them, DeBoer told Rowse, "I love you with all my heart [and] I'm honored to be your legal wife. I've been your wife for many years." Rowse told DeBoer, "I promise to love you forever. I can't imagine my life without you or without our kids."

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

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.