August 23, 2015. It may have been the marriage of the year–or the decade–or the century. The bride looked strikingly feminine in her cream-colored dress. Her father and two of her children escorted her up the aisle while George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun” reverberated throughout the hall. U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell and feminist attorney Gloria Allred were just two of the notable 250 guests at the occasion.
The groom . . . er . . . husband . . . er other bride, Jane, was escorted up the aisle by the couple’s sons and wore a tie-less black tuxedo and looked, well, strikingly masculine.
The happy couple are April DeBoar and Jayne Rouse, the plaintiffs in the case that overturned Michigan’s ban on gay marriage. They are two of the great heroes of the LGBQTUVWXYZ crowd. Their victory in Michigan was instrumental in bringing the gay “marriage” issue before the Supreme Court, which, not surprisingly, declared such commingling as a legal right, something that somehow hadn’t occurred to all the civilizations on the planet since recorded history.
I know. I know. This is old news. But Rouse and DeBoar were not “married” by a minister or a justice of the peace. Instead, the ceremony was officiated by Federal Judge Bernard Friedman. Does his name sound familiar? It should. He was the judge who overturned Michigan’s ban on gay marriage. If this sounds somewhat sleazy, there’s more you should know.
In 2012, Rouse and DeBoar brought a lawsuit against Michigan’s ban on joint adoption by gay couples. Friedman realized that the couple was missing what he described as “the underlying issue,” the ban on gay marriages. He urged them and their lawyers to expand the suit to overturn Michigan’s gay marriage ban.
At the nuptial gathering last month, a grinning Friedman said, “I’ll never forget the look on both of your faces as well as your lawyers. You made that commitment; not only did you make that commitment, your team made it with you, but it was you that really had to make it.”
Now I am told by lawyers that what the judge did was not technically unethical. Apparently, a federal judge can let plaintiffs know if their complaint, as written, has any chance of winning before a court. I might “buy” that if a revised complaint is heard before a different judge. But that was not the case here. Friedman heard the case and then ruled with the plaintiffs. This would be similar to a judge in a divorce case telling the wife, “Look, you won’t win custody be claiming emotional damage. Accuse him of sexually abusing the children, and then I will rule in your favor.” Would not the average person look at such a scenario and cry foul?
Back to the story. The plaintiff’s changed their complaint and, lo and behold, ended up before Judge Friedman. I wrote about the trial last year (“None Dare Call It Bias”), but it’s important now to point out Friedman’s obvious bias. Every so-called expert on behalf of the plaintiffs was judged by Friedman to be credible, independent, unbiased, and pure as the driven snow. However, one of these witnesses was openly gay; another was an avid, outspoken proponent of gay marriage; and the research of a third was financially underwritten by groups favoring gay marriage. So much for credibility.
On the other hand, the witnesses for the State of Michigan were deemed to be “not credible” because they either were financed by groups opposed to the gay agenda or because some of their colleagues felt their research was flawed. One witness, who had co-authored a pro-traditional marriage book with Professor Robert George of Princeton, was prohibited from testifying because Judge Friedman felt he was too young to be an “expert.” And so it went. In the end, Friedman ruled on behalf of the plaintiffs, and the will of the people of Michigan, who had overwhelmingly voted to ban gay marriage, was sacrificed on the altar of judicial activism.
Bad enough, but there’s more. When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage this past June, The Detroit News interviewed Friedman to get his reaction. Friedman told the reporters that he was sitting in his car when U.S. District Judge Judith Levy called to give him the news. “She and I cried together,” Friedman said. “I am so excited. Very excited. I was praying for this.” For what it’s worth, Judge Levy, a former law clerk for Friedman, is the first openly gay judge in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court. If a federal judge is so emotionally attached to an issue that he prays and cries about it, should he not recuse himself from ruling on cases involving that issue? Would that not be the decent thing to do?
At the ceremony, Friedman ended his speech by saying to the couple, “Every citizen of the United States that appreciates what our forefathers have done in equal protection . . . everyone of us owes you a big debt of gratitude.” Your Honor, our forefathers are turning over in their graves.
Years ago I heard a wise man say that once a society realizes that it has no real power to effect change, that, in essence, the game is fixed, then that society is doomed. I think we are there.