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Michigan lawmakers introduce marriage equality bills

Marriage equality

By Jacob CombsMichigan state seal

Yesterday, Michigan lawmakers introduced a series of bills to end the state’s discrimination towards same-sex couples and replace it with full marriage equality.  The multi-bill package is intended to drive momentum in the state after the Supreme Court’s rulings on Prop 8 and DOMA this week, during which the Court could–but is expected not to–bring equal marriage rights to Michigan.  From Democratic state Representative Sam Singh’s website:

The first piece in the legislative package is a house joint resolution that would amend Michigan’s constitution to allow marriage equality. Same-sex marriage was banned in Michigan in 2004. The second bill amends the foreign marriage act by removing the prohibition against same-sex marriage allowing marriages solemnized in other states to be recognized in Michigan, while the third bill amends Michigan’s marriage laws authorizing who may marry. The final piece is a resolution calling on the U.S. Congress to repeal DOMA and respect equality for all U.S. citizens.

“Recent polls have shown that the tide is shifting and a majority of citizens support marriage equality. With or without those polls, supporting the love of our brothers, sisters, friends, and their partners in this fight for inclusiveness is the right move for Michigan and the right thing to do,” said [Democratic state Rep. Rudy] Hobbs.

“There is clear momentum across the country on this issue. Michigan cannot afford to lag behind as other states open their doors to all families. We need to attract the best and the brightest, and that means welcoming everyone. It is hard to encourage talented people and their families to move and work in Michigan when they’re denied the ability to take care of each other,” said Singh.

In addition to these legislative developments, a federal district court challenge to Michigan’s marriage ban and adoption laws is currently on hold pending the Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of Prop 8 and DOMA.  That case is known as DeBoer v. Snyder.

One other small piece of marriage equality news: the Santa Ysabel Tribe, which was established in California in 1893, has become the state’s first Native American tribe to offer equal marriage rights to same-sex couples.  The Santa Ysabel Tribe is headquartered in northeast San Diego County.  Only three other Native American tribes have marriage equality: the Coquille Tribe in Oregon, the Squamish tribe in Washington and the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in Michigan.

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