Category Archives: Civil Rights

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

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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.

Faith-based adoption bills headed to House floor

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Legislation that would allow faith-based adoption agencies to refuse to work with LGBT couples or anyone else based on moral or religious grounds is headed to the floor of the state House. Continue reading

DeBoer attorney says SCOTUS arguments will focus on children

Bob Fluke of Lansing brought a gay pride flag to the inauguration. He wants the governor and lawmakers to make the issue a priority.

Bob Fluke of Lansing brought a gay pride flag to the inauguration. He wants the governor and lawmakers to make the issue a priority.

Attorneys for April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse say their challenge before the US Supreme Court to Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban focus on the harmful effects on children. Continue reading

Religious freedom bill introduced again in new Legislature

Symbols of the Three Monotheistic Religions
A group of Republican state lawmakers will try again to protect religious practices against state and local government interference.

The Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) failed to pass before the legislative session ended last year. Continue reading