Posted: Oct 15, 2013 10:58 PM
Updated: Oct 15, 2013 10:58 PM
DETROIT (AP) Michigan's ban on gay marriage is facing a major court test nine years after voters by a landslide said marriage is reserved for a man and a woman.
A federal judge is hearing arguments Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by two Detroit-area nurses who say the ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection Clause.
The state says the will of voters must be respected, and that heterosexual marriage provides the "optimal family setting" for children.
Thirteen states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage. Many Michigan counties are poised to issue licenses if Judge Bernard Friedman overturns the constitutional amendment, which was approved by voters in 2004.
Even if the judge approves same-sex marriage, he still could suspend that decision while Michigan appeals.