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Representing Plaintiff(s) · Pending

Deboer v. Snyder: Marriage Equality at the Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing six consolidated cases this term on the questions of the freedom to marry and recognition of marriages. Oral argument is set for April 28.

GLAD Civil Rights Project Director Mary L. Bonauto will argue on behalf of same-sex couples who are currently being excluded from marriage. She will stand on behalf of petitioners April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse in the Michigan case DeBoer v. Snyder and Timothy Love, Lawrence Ysunza, Maurice Blanchard and Dominique James in the Kentucky case Love v. Beshear, as well as same-sex couples across the country who are still excluded from marriage. Read more.

Doug Hallward-Driemeier,partner at Ropes & Gray LLP, will represent petitioners seeking recognition of their marriages. Read more.

Read: Legal Teams Announce Advocates Who Will Argue in Supreme Court Marriage Equality Cases

GLAD is co-counsel in  DeBoer v. Snyder, along with Michigan attorneys Carole Stanyar, Dana Nessel of Nessel & Kessel Law, Kenneth Mogill of Mogill, Posner & Cohen and Wayne State University Law Professor Robert Sedler. 

In addition to the Michigan case, there are two cases from Kentucky, Bourke v. Beshear and Love v. Beshear (brought by the ACLU and private counsel); two cases from Ohio, Obergefell v. Hodges and Henry v. Hodges (brought by Lambda Legal and private counsel); and one case from Tennessee, Tanco v. Haslam (brought by NCLR and private counsel). 

The petitioners opening briefs were filed February 27, 2015. Read more.
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The DeBoer Rowse Family
April and Jayne with three of their children
About DeBoer v. Snyder
Washington Post: Meet the couples who will be part of history in the same-sex marriage battle 
USA Today: Michigan couple poised to make gay marriage history
On November 14 attorneys for Michigan couple April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case, seeking to overturn the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision upholding bans on marriage for same-sex couples in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee.

April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse are both nurses and are the mothers of four children they fostered and adopted and are fostering a fifth. They are devoted to each other, to their kids, and they should be able to marry.
U.S. District Court Judge Bernard Friedman ruled in March 2014 that Michigan’s laws prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying are unconstitutional, following a two-week trial in which expert testimony was heard from the nation’s leading psychologists, sociologists, child welfare professionals, and historians.
In a departure from nearly 50 pro-marriage decisions across the U.S. since June 2013, a three-member panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ issued its opinion on November 6, 2014 reversing Judge Friedman’s ruling, along with similar rulings from Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.
For additional information on the case, visit