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Farmington Hills Teen with 2 Dads: ‘I Hate … that the Law Doesn’t See Us as a Real Family’

A Farmington Hills couple who were legally married after Michigan's voter-backed ban on same-sex marriage was declared unconstitutional are among the plaintiffs in an ACLU Michigan lawsuit that would require the state to recognize the marriages.

The ACLU of Michigan has entered the legal fray surrounding gay marriage in Michigan, filing a lawsuit to require the state to recognize about 300 same-sex marriages performed last month during the 24-hour period gay marriage was legal in the state.
The ACLU of Michigan has entered the legal fray surrounding gay marriage in Michigan, filing a lawsuit to require the state to recognize about 300 same-sex marriages performed last month during the 24-hour period gay marriage was legal in the state.

A Farmington Hills couple who have adopted 10 children and plan to adopt three more are among the plaintiffs in a lawsuit the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan is filing to require state  officials to recognize the 300 legal marriages performed during the few hours that same-sex marriage was legal last month.

Clint McCormack and Bryan Reamer are among eight couples named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, the Detroit Free Press reports

Hours after Michigan’s voter-backed ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional by U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has issued an emergency stay on the ruling and later extended it pending a finding on the appeal filed by Attorney General Bill Schuette. Gov. Rick Snyder acknowledged in the days following that the marriages are legal, but the state won’t recognize them until after a ruling on the appeal – the issue in the ACLU’s lawsuit.

Adoptions are among the issues that are complicated by the state’s refusal to recognize the marriages. The federal government is already recognizing the marriages as legal or the purposes of tax filings and benefits claims.

One of the Farmington Hills couple’s sons spoke Monday at a news conference announcing the ACLU lawsuit and said his family no different than any other.

“My dads have made a huge difference in my life,” Keegan McCormack, 15, said. “We go out to dinner. We laugh. We celebrate birthdays … I hate the fact that the law doesn’t see us as a real family.”

Clint McCormack said the state’s refusal to recognize his and Reamer’s marriage hurts his family and treats it differently than opposite-gender families are treated,  The Detroit News reports.

“We’re just like any other couple,” McCormack  said. “Like any other couple we wanted to have our love and commitment respected.”

He said that when Keegan “realized the state did not recognize our marriage he felt like the rug was pulled from under him.”

About a dozen people spoke at the news conference and talked about ways the state’s refusal to acknowledge the legal same-sex marriages has harmed them.

In his ruling, Friedman said the 2004 constitutional amendment approved by voters violates the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In announcing the lawsuit, ACLU Michigan staff attorney Jay Kaplan said the state’s refusal to recognize the marriages is unconstitutional and discriminatory. Gov. Rick Snyder and other state officials are named as defendants in the lawsuit, filed with U.S. District Court in Detroit. Snyder had a choice and his “hands were not tied,” as he contended, by the appeal.

“Simply put, once these couples were legally married in Michigan, they automatically gain protections that cannot be taken away retroactively and that those protections must be recognized regardless of the ultimate outcome of the appeal of Judge Friedman’s ruling,” Kaplan said.

He said the couples who married during the less than 24 hour period that gay marriage was legal didn’t do so on “a mere whim or desire to ‘beat the clock.’ “

“It was a decision made after years, for some couples decades, of patiently waiting for their committed loving relationship to be accorded the same dignity and recognition under law that has been accorded to opposite sex couples,” Kaplan said.

That’s the case with the lead plaintiff, Marsha Caspar, and her wife, Glenna DeJong. They were the first same-sex couple to marry in Michigan on March 22, and they have waited 27 years to tie the knot.

“Now we must wait again,” said Caspar Monday. “We now have a marriage equality Catch 22. We’re married and we’re not. We’re being treated like second class citizens just because of who we love.”

The ACLU plans to file a motion seeking an injunction asking the state to legally recognize the marriages so they are able to get job benefits such as health insurance coverage and for tax purposes, adoption and estate planning.
Dale Murrish April 16, 2014 at 05:44 PM
Or if you want to discuss theology, consider what Jesus taught about marriage: http://troy.patch.com/groups/dale-murrishs-blog/p/jesus-on-marriage--original-intent
Taxpayers of Troy April 16, 2014 at 06:01 PM
Tara, Does your "impressive" knowledge of history include having read John Boswell's "Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe?" In this volume, Boswell (PhD from Harvard, professor at Yale), reveals that the Catholic church, in addition to heterosexual marriage ceremonies in ancient Christian church liturgical documents, had ceremonies called the "Office of Same-Sex Union" (10th and 11th century), and the "Order for Uniting Two Men" (11th and 12th century). If not, read up before shooting your mouth off about things you haven't a clue about. http://books.google.com/books?id=vVgTAAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
Taxpayers of Troy April 16, 2014 at 06:14 PM
Oh, and Tara, you're equivalence between same-sex marriage and polygamy is a bust too. Wanna know the difference? Easy, in one word: HARM. You homophones are so insistent that gay marriage is somehow, someway gonna harm you and your marriage. That was the crux of the case DeBoer case. And you know what happened when that garbage was run up the 'ol flag pole? It got smacked down. HARD. Because no matter how much you whine, you've got no clue. You point to some magical, imagined "harm" and scream like your hair is on fire. As for polygamy, I'm sure in your infinite "education" that you know all about the Canadian lawsuit over section 293 of the Criminal Code of Canada, which bans polygamy. In upholding the ban, the judge explained that polygamy causes harm to the women and children involved. The Judge reasoned that "women in polygamous relationships are at an elevated risk of physical and psychological harm. They face higher rates of domestic violence and abuse, including sexual abuse." So polygamy can be banned because it harms women and children. So another of your vaunted reasons to hate gay people hits the ground like a turd dropped from a 747. Care to try again or you gonna stfu?
McGurk April 16, 2014 at 06:15 PM
Dale M: "Seriously doubt if any on the left will defend two-person marriage, though. Because as you note, it would be inconsistent with “tolerance” and “diversity.” I am not on the left, but like many you perceive to be on the left, I support two-person marriage. Man-woman. Man-man. Woman-woman. All for it. Glad to hear that you support two-person marriage as well. That is fantastic. Go forth and spread the word. Thank you!
Daffy Noodnicks April 16, 2014 at 06:51 PM
Dale: support for gay marriage is not confined to "the left". Your off topic self promotion is loaded with refutations that you ignore. Gay marriage is still off topic, it's not just me who says so, it's courts of law. Don't let these inconvenient facts get in your way, you never do, just as Other posters on thread. The conservative judges are activists? Funny whenever thing don't go your way it's because of conspiracy and activism. Actually judges are just following the law.

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