A state government may not restrain a person's liberty without some acceptable purpose. In this case, the State of Michigan forbade two women from jointly adopting their three children, solely because the women were not and could not be married to each other. Judge asked the State of Michigan to justify its refusal to accept a marriage between the women, and the state's witnesses were unable to express any acceptable reason for discriminating against the couple, solely because of their sex.
In Detroit, Judge Friedman followed Judge Walker's lead, and ordered a trial to determine whether the State of Michigan had a factual basis for the claims it made in support of its ban on same-sex marriage. Forced to present evidence, the State of Michigan offered only familiar, shopworn arguments: marriages between homosexual parents somehow would be bad for children. In the usual manner of a judge weighing evidence, Judge Friedman found the state's evidence wholly without credibility.