Traverse City Record-Eagle


March 16, 2014

Jack Lessenberry: Schuette does not shine in court

The verdict is not yet in, but for Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, last week’s high-profile same-sex marriage and adoption trial in federal court was not exactly a shining triumph.

In fact, the prosecution’s case seemed to have been largely an embarrassment. His first “expert witness,” a student named Sherif Girgis who attends both Princeton and Yale Universities, was ruled ineligible to testify after a couple of questions.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman ruled, essentially, that Girgis was a bright young fellow who, however, was still a student and not yet able to appear as an expert witness about anything.

The prosecution’s last witness, a Canadian economist named Douglas Allen, presented a murky study showing there was no evidence that children of same-sex marriages did as well as those raised by heterosexual couples. Under cross-examination, however, he revealed that he believes gay people are going to hell.

So much for unbiased scientific testimony.

Bill Schuette is running for re-election this fall, and what may become an issue in his campaign is that the attorney general spent thousands of the state’s dollars to bring in these witnesses, along with one Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas.

Even before he testified, his university repudiated his views, as did the American Sociological Association. (Among the other things Regnerus opposes is in-vitro fertilization for married couples.)

This was not a jury trial, and we don’t yet know how Judge Friedman will rule. But the odds would seem to favor another setback for the attorney general and his cause.

Indeed, if supporters of same-sex marriage and adoption wanted an ideal couple to test the legal waters, it is hard to imagine a better couple than critical care nurses Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer, who live in suburban Hazel Park.

Text Only

Opinion Poll
AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US