Mid-Michigan couple sues to have Michigan recognize same-sex mar - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Mid-Michigan couple sues to have Michigan recognize same-sex marriages from other states

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GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT) - (06/10/14) - A Mid-Michigan couple has filed a lawsuit to try to get the state to recognize same-sex marriages from other states.

Jessica Hammon, the attorney for the Flushing area couple, said they simply want to be able to have the same rights afford to all married Americans - specifically when it comes to their children.

Erin and Shayla Blankenship were married in New York last summer.

Hammon said Erin gave birth to their first child in 2007 and Shayla formally adopted the couple's second child in 2013.

"Unfortunately, because of the ways the laws of Michigan work, the only way they could adopt the others' child, even though they're married, in the state of New York, because Michigan doesn't recognize their marriage, they only way they can adopt the other child is if they perform a step-parent adoption," Hammon said.

They join couples in two other cases challenging Michigan's stance on same-sex marriage.

You may recall, hundreds of marriages were performed in Michigan in March after a ruling in federal court declared the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

A stay was issued not long after.

The legal battle continues.

The Blankenship's attorney says the week after the stay was entered, they were told no adoption petitions would be processed in the interim.

"They don't have the proper rights to each one of their children that other couples are afforded," Hammon said. "It's about all Michigan families being recognized and all Michigan families being able to conduct their lives in the same way."
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