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:

  • 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

Finishing the Job: how marriage is moving forward nationwide

Now, as momentum surges across the country, it is more important for supporters to do all they can to speak out for the freedom to marry nationwide. Here's what's going on in the 4 other states set up for the freedom to marry soon, plus the 15 where same-sex couples continue to be denied the freedom to marry.

Serving my country and city in the face of marriage discrimination

Last spring, I did something I've always wanted to do - I joined the U.S. Army, signing up to serve as a welder and machinist in the reserves. When I was younger, I watched in awe as my brother enlisted in the military, and ever since then, I've always known that I've wanted to serve my country. I wouldn't have been able to enlist without the unending support I've received from the love of my life, my partner of six years - my wife, Erin.

LISTEN: Oral Arguments at the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals

Today, August 6, the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit heard oral arguments in six landmark marriage cases out of four different states - Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.

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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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