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Michigan couple hoping for joint adoption awaits Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision

Sunday, April 26, 2015 - 02:43

April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse became plaintiffs in the hugely anticipated Supreme Court battle after a near accident raised questions about their adopted children's future. Katharine Jackson reports.

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STORY: April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse have their hands full -- as adoptive parents, night shift nurses and plaintiffs in a same-sex marriage case going before the U.S. Supreme Court. (SOUNDBITE) (English) APRIL DEBOER, PLAINTIFF IN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE CASE BEING HEARD BY U.S. SUPREME COURT, SAYING: "I mean, they have a loving home. They have siblings. They have grandparents. They have aunts and uncles that they could possibly never see again because we aren't legal parents to each other's children. It would be devastating." Living together for a decade in suburban Detroit, the family has grown -- DeBoer -- adopting two girls and Rowse - two boys. After a near-collision with a truck, the unmarried couple started worrying --- if one of them died, what would happen to the kids? (SOUNDBITE) (English) APRIL DEBOER, PLAINTIFF IN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE CASE BEING HEARD BY U.S. SUPREME COURT , SAYING: "I have no legal right to my boys. My boys are not mine. They are hers. And so, um, it's, it's really keeping our family together. It's ensuring that if something happens to one of us, that our family will stay intact." JAYNE ROWSE, PLAINTIFF IN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE CASE BEING HEARD BY U.S. SUPREME COURT, SAYING: "I wouldn't want to lose the girls. She doesn't want to lose the boys. You know, I can't imagine how they would react, you know, being away from their, their sibling or siblings, you know. They could split them up, all of them." In 2012, DeBoer and Rowse challenged the Michigan law preventing them from adopting each other's children...beginning a legal battle they say was to protect the kids, not to get married. The case evolved when a judge decided the underlying issue was the ban on same-sex marriage, passed by Michigan voters in 2004. National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown says the nation's highest court should respect that. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRIAN BROWN, NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MARRIAGE, SAYING: "If the Supreme Court does this, it doesn't change the nature of marriage; it embeds a lie in our law. The lie that it embeds in our law is that two men or two women are in the exact same position as a man and woman in marriage. That is untrue. Folks know it's untrue. And that's why the other side has moved to trying to use the courts to force this on the country." Currently 37 of the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. allow same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court will consider whether states must allow same-sex couples to marry and whether states must recognize same-sex marriages that take place out-of-state. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPORTER, SAYING: "If the Supreme Court decides that you can be legally married, then what?" APRIL DEBOER AND JAYNE ROWSE, PLAINTIFF IN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE CASE BEING HEARD BY U.S. SUPREME COURT, SAYING (SIMULTANEOUSLY): "Big wedding to plan." JAYNE ROWSE, PLAINTIFF IN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE CASE BEING HEARD BY U.S. SUPREME COURT, SAYING; "Really big wedding to plan." A decision is expected by late June.

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Michigan couple hoping for joint adoption awaits Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision

Sunday, April 26, 2015 - 02:43