National Family Civil Rights Center
UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 11, 2015

Today, the Michigan Supreme Court vacated and remanded Stankevich for reconsideration in light of the U.S. Supreme Court same-sex marriage earlier this summer.  We cannot be more delighted that after so many years, Gavin and LeAnne now can have their day in court!

The Michigan Supreme Court decision can be viewed here.

To paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King and Theodore Parker, the arc of justice is very long, but it bends towards freedom and equality...

NFCRC - December 23, 2013
New York, New York
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Today, the National Family Civil Rights Center filed briefs in the Michigan Supreme Court in the case Stankevich v Milliron, Docket #148097 seeking immediate consideration.


NFCRC has asked the Michigan Supreme Court to invalidate Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage and to hold that Jennifer Stankevich Milliron has standing to seek custody and visitation of her child, G.M., and to expand the scope of the equitable parent doctrine.

In summary, Jennifer and LeAnne, residents of Michigan were legally married in Canada as a same-sex couple.  As same-sex parents, Jennifer and LeAnne decided use assisted reproductive technology to conceive G.M., who was born into the marriage, jointly raised by Jennifer and LeAnne as mothers, and of whom Jennifer and LeAnne shared custody after their relationship ended.  Thereafter, Jennifer filed suit seeking an order of custody and visitation, together with a judgment of divorce, however her suit was dismissed because Michigan does not recognize same-sex marriages or the parental rights of same-sex non-biological parents. 

On July 22, 2011, the Michigan Supreme Court refused to hear a similar appeal in Harmon v. Davis.  However, three justices of the Michigan Supreme Court dissented from this refusal noting that "[t]his child custody case involves issues of great jurisprudential significance... [the] application raises significant constitutional questions that this court has not yet considered. Courts across the country are grappling with similar issues... [t]heir jurisprudential significance is underscored by the fact that the ACLU Fund of Michigan and Family Watch International have already filed briefs amicus curiae... [t]his case creis out for a ruling by the state's highest court."

Although the U.S. Supreme Court subsequently invalidated the federal exclusion of legally-married, same-sex couples from the rights and privileges of marriage in United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. ___ (2013) after the Michigan Supreme Court had refused to hear Harmon, at present Michigan residents are excluded from the rights and priviledges of marriage, including with respect to custody rights concerning children of a marriage by the Michigan State Constitution same-sex marriage ban enacted by ballot referendum in 2004.

NFCRC's Brief asking to intervene on behalf of G.M. can be viewed here.

NFCRC's Brief asking the Michigan Supreme Court for leave to appeal can be viewed here.

About NFCRC:

NFCRC is the only national non-profit organization solely committed to protecting and enhancing the civil rights of children and parents in all types of families.  NFCRC's mission is to enhance and protect the civil rights of families to equal protection under the law, fundamentally fair proceedings in the courts, and accessibility to legal and government processes that impact the lives of our families.  NFCRC accomplishes this through advocacy and aggressive participation in litigation directly and as amicus curiae in proceedings that present significant and pressing issues concerning the civil rights of families.  Website: www.nfcrc.org.

Contact:

For further information, please contact NFCRC's media relations staff at the number below.

  Please note the updated NFCRC address from the cover pages of these briefs.  NFCRC has relocated from the fifth floor to the sixth floor of 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue since the filing of these briefs. 


Contact NFCRC:

(800) 385-0601  (phone)
(202) 640-4433  (fax)
inquiries@familycivilrights.com

Washington D.C. Office:

Evening Star Building
1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 6th Floor
Washington, D.C.  20004


New York City Office:

77 Water Street, 8th Floor
New York, N.Y.  10005