Michigan

STATUS:

Anti-relationship recognition constitutional amendment; a federal judge has ruled that the amendment is unconstitutional, and the decision is now on appeal to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, with the ruling stayed.

WHAT'S HAPPENING:

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 have appealed the ruling to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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 the Marriage Litigation in Michigan.

HISTORY:

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.

GROUPS ACTIVELY WORKING ON MARRIAGE:

  • 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 American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, membership organization dedicated to defending and expanding individual rights and personal freedoms throughout the entire state of Michigan. 
  • Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide. 

POLLING DATA:

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

Q&A: What’s Happening with Marriage in the Courts?

Freedom to Marry founder and president Evan Wolfson describes the dynamic litigation landscape and explains how all Americans can do their part in creating the climate for these courts - including the U.S. Supreme Court - to rule in favor of marriage nationwide as soon as possible.

ACLU of Michigan files lawsuit seeking respect for 300+ Michigan marriage licenses

Today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed a lawsuit in state court on behalf of eight same-sex couples who received marriage licenses on the first day of the freedom to marry in Michigan.

Federal government will respect marriages of same-sex couples in Michigan

Today, the United States Department of Justice announced that the federal government will respect the legal marriages of the 300+ same-sex couples in Michigan who were issued marriage licenses in the state on Saturday, March 22.

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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.

Party Principles: Support for the Freedom to Marry by State and National Political Parties

A listing of both state and national political parties that have made strong statements in support of the freedom to marry.

Michigan Census Snapshot

Demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children in Michigan.

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