Wood & Associates: Attorneys At Law

Same Sex Case Law

There Are Several Notable Cases

Obergefess v. Hodges

June 26, 2015
Court combined 4 cases from the states of Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. All 4 states had constitutional amendments that defined marriage as being between 1 man and 1 woman.
Questions presented to the courts:
Can the state by constitutional amendment limit marriage to 1 man and 1 woman? Does a state that does not recognize same sex marriage have to honor and recognize a valid same sex marriage that occurred in a different state?
Ruling: No, a state cannot limit marriage to be between 1 man and 1 woman. Yes, a state must recognize the validity of a same sex marriage that occurred in another state.

Lake v. Putman

July 5, 2016
Ruling: Same sex couple, together for 14 years, 8 year old child. Separated, Never Married. Equitable parenting Doctrine clearly written to only apply to married couples.
Aside: This applies to any couple—heterosexual or homosexual—thus treating both the same without any distinction based on the sex of the parties.

Equitable Parenting Doctrine

VAN V ZAHORIK 460 MICHH 320, 330; 597 NW2S 15 (1999) AS WELL AS EXTENSIVE OTHERS.

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Questions you may be asking:

This is uncertain. It is standard judicial policy that court decisions are NOT retroactive. Meaning that the changes will only apply going forward but not backwards. If the Supreme Court overturns same sex marriage, it is likely that all current same sex marriage will remain valid marriages. The ban would only be on future marriages. However, until this happens, any answer here is purely speculative.

Absolutely. There is still more to do, but Michigan has come a long way in implementing and updating all laws so that they are gender neutral.