Michigan Attorney General Says He’ll ‘Aggressively Defend’ State’s Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette tells the Petoskey News that he believes marriage is between a man and a woman and he's ready for any challenges to the state's Constitution which defines it that way:

Schuette"The real issue is what may or may not happen," Schuette said. "We have this marriage amendment in place. I'm going to defend it and defend it aggressively. I happen to think that is correct."

Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling was issued in June, there has been speculation about whether a referendum on the marriage amendment could be on the ballot in 2014 or 2016.

The attorney general is currently serving out his first term in office and is expected to seek a second and final four-year term in 2014, which means a repeal of the amendment would force his office to do an about-face on its stance.

Schuette says if voters decide to repeal the marriage amendment in the future, his office will make the legal adjustments necessary.

"I happen to think the amendment adopted by the people was correct, and whether there is amendment that goes a different way in 2014 or 2016 we'll see," Schuette said.

Schuette will be defending the ban on October 1 when the case of April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, a Detroit couple suing the state of Michigan over its ban on gay adoption who expanded their lawsuit to take on the state's marriage amendment, comes before a judge in federal court.

Michigan lawmakers have also introduced legislation to repeal the state's ban.


  1. Chaz says

    The ban is unconstitutional under the CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES as you will soon find out.

  2. Francis #1 says

    Meh. Some of these Republican states will have to be forcibly dragged into equality. Sad nonetheless, but that’s what it is. Not like these bigots have much defense at this point.

  3. Rafael says

    I hope his constituents are happy with the use of his public office. Apparently wasting resources is the Attorney General’s priority.

  4. woodroad34d says

    I grew up in a middle of the road conservative Michigan where, if you kept it to yourself (both straight and gay), there wasn’t a problem. It, for some reason, has turned rabidly hillbilly. What is Michigan trying to prove? There are so many straights there having babies out of wedlock (a practice that would have once torn families apart), that having gay marriage would seem to be the only real conservative thing the State could do. If you’re going to be conservative, be an actual conservative–not a religious facist.

  5. HadenoughBS says

    GOPers, especially politicians, never, EVER surprise me by their homophobic anti-gay stance on LGBT issues. So, this one is par for the course so the state losing on this issue can’t happen soon enough. Yes, Michigan is but one more state to be dragged through legal means into “marriage equality” America kicking and screaming all the way.

  6. Anthony says

    He can aggressively defend it all he wants, but the Supreme Court is not on his side. And whatever the Supreme Court says trumps ANY state constitution.

  7. Akula says

    Well its not like any of the cities in Michigan are going into bankrupcy or they have high unemployment or anything pressing like that, so he has nothing better to do with his time.

  8. Joel V says

    Eff him and the amendment. I hope litigation, perhaps a brave mayor or county clerk issuing licenses, comes sooner rather than later.

  9. Daniel says

    The guy is a jerk and the constitutional amendment should not last more than a few more years, but legally he’s correct in defending what’s on the books right now. The Supreme Court cases didn’t make Michigan’s amendment unconstitutional, unfortunately. SCOTUS adopted a strict state rights, modern federalist approach. The more concerning thing would be an attorney general or other officer of the law not following a future repeal of the amendment.

    And yes, except for a few cities and suburbs, Michigan has become rabidly religious-conservative where before it had a more libertarian-conservative bent with plenty of progressives. When the economy goes downhill people turn to religion. It’s a consistent pattern (Russia, deep south, all rural areas, etc.). It’s pretty sad to see it happening and I for one can’t wait to leave the state.

  10. Anthony says

    The Supreme Court did not rule DOMA unconstitutional under a “strict state rights, modern federalist approach.” It was unconstitutional under equal protection and due process. Which is why we will have legal marriage nationwide within a few years.

  11. Bob Hope says

    Why does this journalist not ask the most basic follow up question: How?

    How will Bill Schuette aggressively defend this marriage amendment in a way that will yield a different outcome than the manner in which Prop 8 was defended and overturned?

    Or DOMA?

    Or any number of other lawsuits that have made their way through the legal system?

    What legal argument could this man possibly fashion that hasn’t been attempted by the anti-marriage equality groups before?

    This seems like one of the most galling example of wasting taxpayer’s money that I’ve seen in a long time. Hopefully the voters of Michigan will remember this blatantly political misuse of funds when they vote on their next Attorney General.

  12. Tarc says

    Daniel – Incorrect. For whatever reason, the people of Michigan vote against their own personal views and elect the GOP into office! Then the population gets polled, and what the GOP elected officials do it totally against what the electorate wants. And the dummies keep doing it. I’ve been here 44 years and it’s the most inane thing ever. Currently, polls run 54-60% of the people of Michigan support gay marriage.

  13. SHOES THROWER says

    Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning is one example of a case where a marriage amendment was successfully defended.