Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office has delivered the state’s defense of its same-sex marriage ban to the US Supreme Court.
The state’s 59-page brief focuses largely on states’ rights. The attorney general argues the case is not specifically about marriage, but who gets to decide the question.
From the brief’s summation:
“This case is not about the best definition of marriage or any stereotypes about families. Families
come in all types, and parents of all types—married or single, gay or straight—love their children. This case is about whether the Fourteenth Amendment imposes a single marriage view on all states such that the people have no right to decide. It does not.”
The brief says the US Constitution is silent on the issue, so the decision on defining who can get married is left to states or their voters. The brief says Michigan voters made a reasonable choice when they approved the ban in 2004, and only they should be allowed to reverse it.
April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse are the lesbian couple challenging the ban. They say it violates their equal protection rights and the equal protections rights of the children they are raising together, but cannot jointly adopt.
Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee will also defend marriage bans when the Supreme Court hears arguments in the case next month.
Residents of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Ontario are invited to come to Lake Superior State University for the 14th annual Environmental Summit. The free summit is designed to show residents what scientists and students from LSSU have been doing on the St. Mary’s River. It will also give residents a chance to learn how to care for the river.
Starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 27 at the Cisler Center, residents will be able to interact with local organizations to better understand the river’s ecology. One organization is the Aquatic Research Laboratory, who will be providing information on the salmon fish hatchery on the river.
Students from LSSU will also have a chance to speak on the river and showcase their research.
Dr. Sheri Glowinski is an assistant professor of Biology Sciences at Lake Superior State University. She is also the coordinator for the Michigan side of the Bi-national Public Advisory Council. Both organizations are sponsoring the event.
“(It’s important) for the community to understand the major environmental issues that are facing the St. Mary’s watershed.”
Glowinski has set up this entire event and is excited to get the public educated about the St. Mary’s river.
Following the summit is a Health and Harvest Fair, where farms and other health related organizations will be presenting on healthy eating.
State lawmakers are looking to slash the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s budget. A state Senate budget subcommittee cut money for a business attraction program run by the agency. Continue reading →
Now-dissolved Buena Vista School District has a large debt from its dissolution process. Its remaining debt could be paid off in the near future under legislation approved by the state Senate, this week. Continue reading →
Looking to drive around Michigan? There’s an app for that The Michigan Department of Transportation has updated its MI Drive app.
Jeff Cranson, MDOT Director of Communications said the app uses cameras to notify users in real time. Users are also able to save their favorite cameras.
“Everything we do is about safe travel and trying to help people avoid congestion, avoid construction zones, anything that causes backups because it’s in backups that people get impatient and do things that can lead to crashes,” Cranson said.
Cranson said he hopes to see more cameras in rural areas.
The MI Drive App was originally released in November. The new version has faster loading speed and new map layers.
Cransons said it also helps cut down on pollution as well.
“It’s about the environment because any time you can avoid congestion and sitting stalled in traffic, you’re not idling, and you’re conserving fuel and cutting down on emissions too,” he said.
Transportation officials say they plan to continue updating the app as it receives feedback.
State Transportation Director Kirk Steudle said the app has some 38,000 downloads.
There were celebrations in four Michigan counties where a year ago same-sex couples crowded into courthouses to get married. That was right after a federal judge struck down Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban. Continue reading →