MI plaintiffs on gay marriage ruling: ‘It doesn’t feel real yet’

Posted at 6:20 PM, Jun 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-26 22:55:54-04

ANN ARBOR, Mich -- April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse have said from the start they never set out to take on the nation's highest court, but it's exactly where they wound up.

Friday among supporters, the couple at the center of the high-profile national case, celebrated the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling striking down same-sex marriage bans in four states, including Michigan, making gay marriage legal across the country.

"To my beautiful children, we did this for you," April told supporters Friday morning following the ruling.

DeBoer told FOX 17 she's cherished the support  they've received and the admiration they've been able to inspire among others.

The couple initially sued the state in 2012 after learning Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage didn't allow the two to jointly adopt each other's children. A federal judge in Detroit last year said the ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional. But that decision was later appealed.

Rowse and DeBoer's case later joined others from Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee which became part of the case heard before the U.S. Supreme Court.

“It still doesn’t feel real, I just doesn’t yet," Jayne Rowse told FOX 17 Friday afternoon.

"I think in a day or two when it really calms down and we really get to reflect on this, I think then it will feel real. But right now it still feels like when are they going to come out and go ‘ha-ha, we were kidding’ and we'll wake up from the dream.”

The small, unassuming conference room in Ann Arbor where the two conducted a slew of television interviews Friday, reflected just how Rowse and DeBoer have approached the media circus surrounding their case from the beginning. Despite being dubbed the 'accidental activists' and the subsequent attention that followed, the two reiterated their case is and always was about protecting their own family and their children.

“When you have four, soon to be five, little faces staring at you and knowing you can’t protect them, you can’t give them the same protections other kids have, it’s hard to look at those faces and think about the ‘what ifs,'" DeBoer said.

“We have a very busy household and life just has to continue and it has to keep going, so we did what we had to do. We'd go home, we'd shed oue activism clothes and we put on the mom clothes."

When asked about future wedding plans the two chuckled and said they were taking suggestions, 'and taking any form of free things,' Rowse added.

For now, the focus remains on keeping the family together and getting the adoption paperwork in order. As of Friday afternoon, the two said they still hadn't been able to tell their children about the ruling.