The case is Deboer v Snyder, and it has both a same sex marriage and a gay adoption component to it. I suspect that the gay adoption component is why the judge denied summary judgment requests and decided to go to trial. Nevertheless, the trial does begin on Feb. 25 (next Tuesday). The trial will possibly have two parts to it. The first part will be fact-finding regarding same sex marriage and gay adoption. And, if the judge finds it necessary, the second part will be about the appropriate standard of review for cases involving gays and lesbians.
Many of you will probably recall the Prop 8 trial (Perry v Swarzenegger) that took place back in early 2010. The proponents of prop 8 did not put on much of a defense of prop 8 since they figured they would win (if not at trial, then in the Ninth Circuit or SCOTUS). And, almost all of their witnesses declined to testify at trial after being deposed by attorney David Boies anyway. This trial is not likely to proceed in the same manner, however. The proponents of the marriage ban in Michigan (Gov. Snyder and various anti-gay groups) will try to put on quite a show for this trial, I suspect. They will, of course, have the gay community's favorite sociologist and researcher, Mark Regnerus testify for them. Mr. Regnerus did one of the latest studies on parenting. His conclusion (and the anti-gays' conclusions) that same sex couples' children do not have the favorable outcomes that heterosexual couples' children do has been soundly and repeatedly debunked and criticized by the greater psychological and sociological communities (and their orgs). As a result, the plaintiffs in the case have filed a motion requesting that Mr. Regnerus' testimony not be allowed/accepted. It's unclear how the judge will rule on that.
Mr. Regnerus recently gave a speech at Franciscan University. In that speech he gave the usual anti-gay talking points. He repeated the "if we allow gay folks to marry, straight men will want to stray" meme. I call that the "we can't allow marriage equality because straight men are pigs" argument. The anti-gay industry gives it a less humorous and more ambiguous name -- "responsible procreation." He also added that because of the "normalization of gay men's sexual behavior," heterosexual couples are discussing and wanting anal sex more. I don't think I've heard that one before.
The New York Times has an article on Mr. Regnerus and others in the anti-gay community as well as this trial online today. It can be found here: