Michigan

STATUS:

Anti-relationship recognition constitutional amendment; in spring 2015, the United States Supreme Court will review an out-of-step ruling from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals about the freedom to marry in Michigan. Learn all about the freedom to marry at the Supreme Court here.

WHAT'S HAPPENING:

On January 16, the United States Supreme Court granted review of the out-of-step ruling from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals about the freedom to marry in Michigan. The case will be heard in April, with a ruling expected by June 2015, which could bring the freedom to marry nationwide.

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 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:

  • 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. 
  • 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

Friday: Now is the time for SCOTUS to consider the freedom to marry

Friday, January 16, the United States Supreme Court will hold its second conference of 2015, which will be the second chance the Court has to grant or deny review of the four marriage cases currently before it.

Federal judge adds to the marriage momentum in Michigan one day before SCOTUS conference

Today, January 15, 2015, United States District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith ruled in favor of the freedom to marry in Michigan, ruling that the state must respect the marriages of over 300 same-sex couples that were married in March of 2014.

SCOTUS denies review of Louisiana case, takes no action on other marriage petitions

Today, the United States Supreme Court denied review in an out-of-step ruling upholding marriage discrimination in Louisiana. The ruling has not yet received judgment from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, which heard oral argument in the case on Friday

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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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