DeBoer v. Snyder began in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, southern division as a challenge to Michigan’s adoption law by an unmarried same-sex couple. The case is before Judge Bernard Friedman, who encouraged the plaintiffs to amend the complaint to include a challenge to the same-sex marriage ban in the Michigan constitution. Here's the amended complaint. Key excerpt:
Michigan’s law prohibiting second parent adoptions by unmarried persons serves no legitimate government interest. There are very significant legal benefits for children having two legal parents rather than one: (a) the right to have a parent automatically in the event of the death of the other parent, (b) the right to dependency benefits under laws and other contractual arrangements providing for dependency benefits, such as social security, workers compensation, pensions, insurance and tort law, and (c) the right to have at least one parent able and available to make decisions in the event the other parent is incapacitated or is unavailable.
23. By prohibiting a second parent from adopting the child of that parent’s partner, Michigan law impairs deeply personal relationships, deprives the minor child Plaintiffs in this case of the myriad legal, sociological and psychological benefits attendant upon having two legal parents, and deprives Plaintiff parents in this case of their fundamental rights of parental autonomy and family autonomy.
The Michigan Marriage Amendment fosters the State’s legitimate interest in promoting responsible natural procreation, which, in turn, promotes raising children in a home environment with both a mother and a father, giving the children the benefit of having a role model of both sexes.