Attorney General Bill Schuette

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USA, Michigan: Marriage Equality Ballot Initiative Planned as State Submits New Brief

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

MichiganThe campaign to put marriage equality on the ballot in 2016 will kick off today.

The Detroit News reports:

Community activists, religious leaders and other supporters of same-sex marriage in Michigan are expected to kick off a campaign Thursday for a 2016 ballot initiative to legalize gay marriage in the state. The initiative will be called Michigan for Marriage, organizers said. In Metro Detroit, organizers will kick off their effort at noon at the Oakland County Board of Commissioners’ Auditorium, located at 1200 N. Telegraph in Pontiac. Petition drives will also be launched in Lansing and Grand Rapids.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a new brief with the 6th Circuit supporting the ban, but one thing was notably absent.

Joe.My.God reports:

Yesterday Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a brief with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in defense of that state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Notably missing from Shuette’s brief is any mention of debunked social researcher Mark Regnerus, who was brutally slapped down by the judge who ultimately overturned the ban.

In another interesting twist, he also points to the US Supreme Court’s upholding of the state’s affirmative action ban last month:

Mlive reports:

“The district court’s decision, to use (U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony) Kennedy’s recent words, demeans democracy,” the state asserted, referring to the plurality opinion in the case that Schuette argued in defense of the affirmative action ban. “It denies each of those voters the dignity of a meaningful vote, labels each with the stigma of irrationality, and treats Michigan’s electorate as incapable of deciding this profound and sensitive issue.”

Kennedy wrote in his opinion on Schuette vs. Coalition to defend Affirmative Action: “It is demeaning to the democratic process to presume that the voters are not capable of deciding an issue of this sensitivity on decent and rational grounds… Freedom embraces the right, indeed the duty, to engage in a rational, civic discourse in order to determine how best to form a consensus to shape the destiny of the Nation and its people. These First Amendment dynamics would be disserved if this Court were to say that the question here at issue is beyond the capacity of the voters to debate and then to determine.”

I haven’t seen this particular argument before, at least not with this basis… it will be interesting to see if it is taken seriously by the 6th Circuit.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Michigan.