Michigan marriage equality lawsuit to be argued October 1; new filings in Illinois marriage challenges
July 11, 2013
A scheduling conference in the lawsuit challenging Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban, DeBoer v. Snyder, took place yesterday, July 10 in federal district court. The federal judge declined to dismiss the case last week, but did not issue a final ruling or a schedule for further motions or arguments, putting the decision off until yesterday’s conference.
No final decision on the merits of the constitutional challenge to the ban was released yesterday, and the judge has set oral arguments for October 1. Challenges against same-sex marriage bans in Nevada and Hawaii are likely to see oral arguments in October as well, though probably at the end of the month, since an extension of time was sought to file briefs. Those cases are already in the appeals court, though, at the Ninth Circuit.
In Illinois, Lambda Legal has filed a motion for summary judgment in Darby v. Orr and Lazaro v. Orr. This is a request for a decision on the merits, (in the plaintiffs’ favor, in this case.) Their brief in support of summary judgment is much like the one they filed in the New Jersey case: both are state cases, both states have civil unions. In one section, they write:
Plaintiffs who obtained civil unions by license from illinois county clerks currently are denied a number of federal benefits and protections that would be available to them and their families if they could marry now that DOMA has been struck down.
The filing goes on to list specific ways civil unions deny same-sex couples equal protection under the law afforded to opposite-sex couples. There is no timeline for the court to act in the case.