Category Archives: Civil Rights

SVSU updates their non-discriminatory policy to include protections for the transgender community

SVSUSaginaw Valley State University is adding gender identity and genetic information protections to its non-discrimination policy.
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Previously dismissed Saginaw-Chippewa Tribal Court case may be re-opened

Protesters outside the Mt. Pleasant tribal courthouse.

Protesters outside the Mt. Pleasant tribal courthouse.

Signs were held and chants were shouted outside the court house where more than 150 members of the Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe are awaiting a judge’s decision on whether their membership status can be reconsidered by the tribe.

They are still facing the termination of their tribal membership about their blood lineage. Those questions were first dismissed by a judge, with prejudice, in 2009. Continue reading

Same-sex marriages already underway across Michigan

Lauren Brown (L) and Lindsey Wren (R) of East Lansing got married at the Ingham County Courthouse shortly after the SCOTUS ruling on Friday.

Lauren Brown (L) and Lindsey Wren (R) of East Lansing got married at the Ingham County Courthouse shortly after the SCOTUS ruling on Friday.

A number of county clerks are already issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after today’s (Fri.) Supreme Court ruling.
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Gay marriage ban defenders Snyder, Schuette say they’ll respect SCOTUS decision

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette spoke with reporters in Lansing after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down marriage bans across the country – including Michigan’s ban, which Schuette fought to uphold in court.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette spoke with reporters in Lansing after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down marriage bans across the country – including Michigan’s ban, which Schuette fought to uphold in court.

Governor Rick Snyder and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette say they’ll respect and enforce today’s (Fri.) same-sex marriage ruling.
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Snyder signs law to let adoption agencies to refuse service based on faith objection

Adoption

Governor Rick Snyder has signed a law that allows faith-based adoption agencies to refuse to work with same-sex couples or other families based on a religious objection.

The governor says he signed the law to ensure the most opportunities to place children with permanent families. But, the law is almost certain to face a legal challenge. Continue reading

Bills would shield faith-based adoption agency from effects of SCOTUS ruling

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Controversial adoption on its way to Governor Rick Snyder would allow faith-based adoption agencies that take public money to refuse to work with same-sex couples. That’s even if the US Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage. Continue reading

Bill to prevent police from unfairly seizing property clears state House

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Michigan would give police less freedom to seize and sell property under bills making their way through the state Legislature.

The state House approved the bills on Thursday with wide bipartisan support. Continue reading

Snyder renews opposition to open carry in schools as pro-gun activists rally at Capitol

Pro-gun activists rallied outside the state Capitol on Tuesday for their annual ‘Second Amendment March’ openly carrying firearms.

Pro-gun activists rallied outside the state Capitol on Tuesday for their annual ‘Second Amendment March’ openly carrying firearms.

Gov. Rick Snyder is renewing his support for banning openly carrying firearms in Michigan schools. Continue reading

SCOTUS to hear challenge to Michigan same-sex marriage ban

Marriage0427-Foto-1Crowds gathered as the US Supreme Court prepared to hear arguments on whether same-sex marriage bans like Michigan’s violate the Constitution.

A line of people camped out for several days hoping to get into the historic arguments before the Supreme Court.
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MI Senate committee OKs faith-based exceptions for adoption agencies

Capital_Building_LansingA state Senate panel has OK’d bills that would allow faith-based private adoption agencies that take public funds to turn away same-sex couples.

The bills come as the US Supreme Court is about to hear arguments on whether Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the Constitution. A decision is expected this summer.
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Young conservatives push for change in GOP platform on marriage

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A group of young conservatives is in Michigan to meet with state Republican leaders. Its goal is to get the party to adopt a change in its platform at the Republican National Convention in the summer of 2016. It wants the GOP to drop its opposition to same-sex marriage. Continue reading

MI’s defense of same-sex marriage ban delivered to Supreme Court

Supreme court

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.