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Michigan’s First Witness Thrown Out

mich-trialThe state of Michigan’s defense team got off to a rocky start today after the judge threw out their first witness. The state was counting on his testimony to help bolster its argument that marriage should be defined as a man and a woman, and that children are best off raised by a mom and a dad. They planned on having Sherif Girgis on the stand for up to two hours, but the judge agreed with the plaintiffs who noted that he is not a lawyer, child development expert, psychologist or expert in Michigan law, and has no experience in the issues that matter in this case.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman said Girgis, who is a is a law student at Yale University and a doctoral candidate at Princeton University, is smart, articulate and bound to become an expert in his field. But he agreed that he had nothing to offer in this case

“He’s very eloquent … but right now, all he is offering to us is mainly his opinions,” U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman said of the witness. “The court does not believe … that he should be allowed to testify.”

Having their first witness dismissed was a blow to the state’s defense in the case where two Detroit nurses are seeking to overturn Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage. They have a second witness who is scheduled to take the stand later this afternoon. Mark Regnerus, a University of Texas sociologist, who published a 2012 study on family structure that has been condemned by social scientists and psychology groups as misleading and irrelevant. Regnarus has asserted that differences exist between children of parents who have had same-sex relationships and those with married moms and dads.

Michigan’s Attorney General Bill Schuette, a Republican, sent an email to county clerks last October, warning them not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples no matter what the judge rules. Earlier today, Lisa Brown, who is a supporter of marriage equality and the elected clerk of Oakland County said, “My job is to follow what the judge says, not what the attorney general says.”

The trial has already resumed.

For background on the case, go to: http://rainbowlaw.com/michigan-gay-marriage-case-back-in-court/

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