Legislation Introduced to Repeal Michigan’s Ban on Gay Marriage, Recognize Those from Out-of-State

Michigan state senators yesterday introduced four pieces of legislation that would advance recognition of same-sex relationships, Equality Michigan reports:

MichiganMichigan Senate Joint Resolution W, introduced by Sentor Rebekah Warren (D-Washtenaw), would allow Michigan voters to repeal the 2004 amendment to the state constitution banning same-gender relationship recognition by the government.

Senate Resolution 64, introduced by Senator Bert Johnson (D-Wayne), calls on the federal government to repeal their Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Senate Bill 405, introduced by Senator Gretchen Whitmer (D-Ingham), would repeal legal limitations on same-gender relationships put in place prior to the 2004 constitutional ban.

Finally, Senate Bill 406, introduced by Senator Virgil Smith (D-Wayne), would recognize same-gender marriages occuring in states where such relationships are already legally recognized.

In addition to supporting the proposed legislation, the organization has been working on a long-term marriage equality strategy with national organizations, members of the Unity Michigan Coaliation such as ACLU of Michigan and Affirmations of Ferndale, and local grassroots organizations like MI Love and Vote Equal. Equality Michigan continues the push to amend Michigan's Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act to include protections for the LGBT communities.

Said Emily Dievendorf, managing director of Equality Michigan: "Michigan State Senators Warren, Johnson, Whitmer and Smith understand that a growing number of voters demand an end to the second-class treatment that LGBT families receive from our government. With these four pieces of legislation, Michigan's Senate Democratic elected officials have begun a conversation LGBT people have spent years preparing for and lifetimes suffering from the absence of."

In mid-May, Towleroad reported on a new poll showing the rapidly-changing attitudes toward same-sex marriage in Michigan, with support for the freedom to marry increasing to 56.8 percent, up 12.5 percentage points from last year. The shift is attributed largely to changing opinions from GOP and independent voters.