On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the freedom to marry in the case Obergefell v. Hodges, ending marriage discrimination throughout the nation. This decision was quickly implemented by states across the country, including in Michigan. Read more about the ruling here.
In 2004, anti-gay forces in Michigan pushed through Michigan State Proposal 04-2, a constitutional amendment that excludes same-sex couples from marriage and prohibits same-sex couples from attaining any form of legal family status. This discriminatory amendment was used to take away even the limited protections offered from families when Michigan's public colleges and universities were barred from offering health and other benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of employees.
On March 21, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Bernard Friedman, a Reagan appointee, ruled that laws in Michigan prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying are unconstitutional. The ruling was in DeBoer v. Snyder, filed on behalf of a same-sex plaintiff couple seeking to marry in Michigan and jointly adopt their children.
No stay was issued in the case, and on Saturday, March 22, several county clerks' offices in Michigan opened and issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples. More than 300 couples married before the end of the afternoon, when the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the state's request for a stay on the ruling.
Gov. Snyder and the Michigan Attorney General appealed the ruling to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. On November 6, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the freedom to marry.
On January 15, 2015, United States District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith ruled that Michigan must respect the marriages of more than 300 same-sex couples that were married in March of 2014. The ruling was stayed for 21 days.
As the case makes its way up through the courts, Michigan residents across the state will continue to do the work of having conversations about why marriage matters and creating a climate for victory. Follow theMarriage Litigation in Michigan.
On April 28, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments on the freedom to marry in Michigan, with a ruling expected late summer 2015.
The United States Supreme Court granted review in the case DeBoer v. Snyder on January 16, 2015. The review was granted after the 6th Circuit ruled to uphold the marriage ban in Michigan in an out-of-step ruling on November 6, 2014.
GROUPS ACTIVELY WORKING ON MARRIAGE:
- Michigan for Marriage is the grassroots public education campaign to build support for the freedom to marry in Michigan.
- Equality Michigan works to achieve full equality and respect for all people in the state of Michigan regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
- The ACLU of Michigan is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, membership organization dedicated to defending and expanding individual rights and personal freedoms throughout the entire state of Michigan.
- The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, membership organization dedicated to defending and expanding individual rights and personal freedoms throughout the country.
- Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide.
A significant majority of voters in Michigan (56%) support the freedom to marry. (Michigan State University's State of the State Survey, November 2012)
NUMBER OF SAME-SEX COUPLES:
According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 14,598 same-sex couples are living in Michigan, representing 3.8 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.
Blog Posts Related to Michigan
As we await the United States Supreme Court's ruling on the question of the freedom to marry, counties are preparing for the possibility that their marriage bans may be struck down as a result of the decision.
Yesterday, April 16, the Associated Press published 15 profiles exploring the personal stories of the people who are putting their families, lives, and love in the spotlight to fight for the freedom to marry across the nation.
Today, March 6, final amici briefs were filed to the United States Supreme Court urging the Justices to rule in favor of the freedom to marry nationwide.
Resources Related to Michigan
Pew Poll Finds Growing Support for Freedom to Marry Among Evangelicals, Majority Support Among Youth
A comprehensive Pew poll found majority support for the freedom to marry among young people, college graduates and Catholics, with growing support among all other religious categories.
A listing of both state and national political parties that have made strong statements in support of the freedom to marry.
Demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children in Michigan.