You don’t have to be a conservative to feel that the government has too many regulations. It seems almost every aspect of everyday life comes with some degree of red tape, whether it’s building an addition to your house, starting a business, driving a car — the state has regulations for everything.
But the state of Michigan’s government is not satisfied. Lawyers for the government there believe the state should explore the final frontier of government regulation — your sex life.
“It is clear that Michigan has exclusive authority to govern domestic relations, and that authority should not be disrupted,” lawyers for the state argued in a brief filed Sept. 9 in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Later in the brief, the state attorneys get more specific about which parts of “domestic relations” they are most interested in regulating.
The state, they say, should “regulate sexual relationships between men and women so that the unique procreative capacity of such relationships benefits rather than harms society.”
Not surprisingly, the brief was filed as part of a case brought by a same-sex couple, challenging the state’s ban on gay marriage.
The couple, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse (pictured, with their kids), two nurses in Hazel Park, Mich., who have lived together for six years and have adopted three children, didn’t begin as a challenge to the state’s marriage ban. Instead, the couple was challenging Michigan’s adoption laws.
Because DeBoer and Rowse are not allowed to legally marry as they would like, they are not permitted to jointly adopt their children. If something were to happen to one of the two parents, the other faces the possibility of losing the children — or at least the ones not legally adopted by the surviving member of the couple.
The case evolved into a challenge of Michigan’s gay marriage ban — asserting that the ban violates the 14th Amendment guarantee of due process — because the only way to insure joint custody is to get married.
The couple has asked a judge to make a summary judgment in their favor, throwing out the gay marriage ban. The state says the courts are not the place to get rid if this particular government regulation. It should go to a ballot measure instead.
A hearing is set for Oct. 16. No word on whether Michigan will soon be setting up its own Department of Sex Regulation.
SOURCES: MLive (2), Scribd, Wonkette