Michigan

STATUS:

Anti-relationship recognition constitutional amendment; the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the freedom to marry on November 6. It is likely that this ruling will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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 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. It is likely that this ruling will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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

After year of momentum, same-sex couples and families give thanks on Thanksgiving

This holiday season, as we spend time with our family, we feel thankful for what we've accomplished this year -- we've won the freedom to marry in eighteen states (for a total of 35 and our nation's capital) and seen marriage move forward across the country.

Legal teams from 6th Circuit cases will seek review from US Supreme Court

Less than 24 hours after the 6th Circuit's out-of-step ruling upholding marriage discrimination, legal teams for cases out of all four states announced that they would seek review of the ruling from the United States Supreme Court.

6th Circuit Plaintiffs Stand Strong in face of loss in court today

Today, the United States Court of Appeals in the 6th Circuit upheld marriage discrimination in 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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