Gay Marriage | Michigan | News

Michigan Attorney General: Gay Marriage Ban is There to 'Regulate Sexual Relations' and Procreation

For about a year we've been reporting on April DeBoer and Jayne Rose, a Michigan couple who are challenging the state's ban on gay adoption and same-sex marriage. In July, a judge ruled that the couple could proceed with their case.

LmcThe Huffington Post points out a brief filed earlier this month by Attorney General Bill Schuette, who claims the state's definition of marriage is needed to "regulate sexual relationships" and their "unique procreative capacity":

Responsible procreation and childrearing are well-recognized as legitimate State interests served by marriage.

One of the paramount purposes of marriage in Michigan -- and at least 37 other states that define marriage as a union between a man and a woman -- is, and has always been, to regulate sexual relationships between men and women so that the unique procreative capacity of such relationships benefits rather than harms society. The understanding of marriage as a union of man and woman, uniquely involving the rearing of children born of their union, is age-old, universal, and enduring. As illustrated by a plethora of research, social scientists have consistently recognized the essential connection between marriage and responsible procreation and childrearing.

The case goes to trial in Detroit this fall.

Equality Michigan managing director Emily Dievendorf balks at Schuette's claim: Marriage is about more than just procreation, as the Supreme Court said this June, 'marriage is a way for couples to define themselves by their commitment to each other.' Suggesting the benefit of marriage is limited to just producing children is more insulting and damaging to the institution of marriage than anything Schuette fears."

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  1. lol 'it' thinks that law and government exists to regulate sexual relationships between people.

    Posted by: yolo | Sep 20, 2013 1:30:19 PM

  2. That's a pretty frightening thing to suggest.

    Posted by: Mikey | Sep 20, 2013 1:38:17 PM

  3. If you live in Michigan be aware you cannot marry if you are sterile, impotent, past childbearing age or just do not want to procreate. And don't ever use condoms or birth control pills if you are married and sexually active with each other. Michigan sounds like the old Roman Catholic Church.

    Posted by: trees | Sep 20, 2013 1:39:25 PM

  4. Good News heterosexual people who can't or don't want to have children: Republicans don't want you to get married. But since you are straight, they'll make an exception. You know, for the kids that you won't be bearing.

    Posted by: Michael Heynz | Sep 20, 2013 1:40:06 PM

  5. Odd how the definition of marriage was love and commitment until gay people wanted in in it.

    Posted by: Michael | Sep 20, 2013 1:41:15 PM

  6. Somebody needs to make sure Billy boy gets him some schoolin'. He's about as sharp as a bowling ball.

    Posted by: Jack M | Sep 20, 2013 1:42:03 PM

  7. May I just point out wedding ceremonies say nothing about procreation and only talk about love and commitment???

    Posted by: Michael | Sep 20, 2013 1:42:36 PM

  8. Then it's time to dissolve the marriages of anyone with grown children over childbearing age.

    Posted by: grench | Sep 20, 2013 1:55:27 PM

  9. Is there some reason that heterosexuals seem to think that a woman's body is an out of control rickshaw?

    Posted by: Tigerama | Sep 20, 2013 1:56:30 PM

  10. The AG is right. Controlling het. sex and child rearing is exactaly why the government got into marriage licensing after the revolutionary war. It is also why they prohibited mixed-race marriage and divorce. Read a Renagade History of the United States by Russell for more examples of the government' attempts to control cultural exhuberance. It is a shocking book in many ways.

    Posted by: Brian Killen | Sep 20, 2013 2:02:47 PM

  11. There is nothing in the law that says anything remotely like the AG is claiming. Nothing. No heterosexual couple in this country has ever been granted a marriage license based on their commitment to procreation. Not once, not ever. The AG is one sick man.

    And he's making this absurd claim to deny marriage to a long-term committed couple with THREE CHILDREN.

    I defy him or anyone to make any sense of that.

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Sep 20, 2013 2:14:44 PM

  12. The same basic argument was used in Arizona after the anti-gay marriage amendment passed. And the Supreme Court here agreed that marriage was for procreation.

    What was ironic was that our Democratic Attorney General at that time was trying to deliberately lose the case and chose the most outlandish argument possible.

    Posted by: homer | Sep 20, 2013 2:15:34 PM

  13. It doesnt matter who Bill Schuette loves. If the govt wants him to get marry with this person, then he will.

    Posted by: AndyTowlette | Sep 20, 2013 2:16:33 PM

  14. In Russia Shuette would be a hero. Putin would be heralding his stellar defense for it's logic and the good it would be doing society. Here he's a man doing the best he can in a losing situation. The situations differ because in the US we've had decades of activism with the free flow of information and an open court system wherein we could refute these illogical arguments and show them to be the discrimination they really are. For all our effort we still have 37 US states where we haven't achieved equality. And 76 countries globally where it's still illegal to be LGBT. We've got a long way to go.

    Posted by: SERIOUSLY | Sep 20, 2013 2:17:57 PM

  15. @Michael: of course, talking about procreation makes a lot of people nervous, with protective moms covering over the ears of their children, so no wonder it is never mentioned in a wedding ceremony!

    Posted by: Bill | Sep 20, 2013 2:26:24 PM

  16. If that's his case, then, as per usual, the government appears to be doing a horrible job at "regulation," since a large percentage of couples end-up divorced and/or on their second or third marriage. And if it's that important to the state, then one would think they'd at least take a lesson from the DMV and mandate that couples pass both a written test and a "road test" before they can get a marriage license.

    Posted by: Rexford | Sep 20, 2013 2:35:22 PM

  17. This is a crazy notion. Does he think that banning gay marriage will cause gay people to make babies with straight people?? Regulating marriage has very little to do with "regulating sexual relationships" in a way that promotes the procreative aspect of a relationship.

    Posted by: Matt | Sep 20, 2013 4:06:37 PM

  18. Illegal and Unconstitutional. SCOTUS has ruled that the government is not allowed to regulate sexual relations between gay people. Also Whether gay couples get married or not they are not going to have sex with the opposite gender so still no natural procreation and the government doesn't ban straight couples who cannot or choose not to procreate or raise children so the argument is moot - invalid.

    Posted by: Sean | Sep 20, 2013 4:10:21 PM

  19. can they really regulate procreation!??!?!?!? how/why..............

    Posted by: Bernie | Sep 20, 2013 6:01:18 PM

  20. What's next? A license to have sex and government permission to have children? This is a scary concept but I'm not surprised, clearly republicans agenda is clear. Uptight puritanical loons.

    Posted by: david from edmonton | Sep 20, 2013 7:22:19 PM

  21. Curiously, the U.S. has a history of regulating sexual relations to control procreation. These laws, known as miscegenation laws, were particularly popular in states that had no problem with people marrying their cousins. I'll refrain from speculating about cause and effect.

    Posted by: Bill | Sep 20, 2013 7:42:18 PM

  22. I think he needs to return to math class. There are not 37 'other' states, as 13 already provide for marriage equality. And where does the 'at least' come from? LOL all around...

    I think 'at most 36 other states' would be more accurate.

    Posted by: Matt N | Sep 20, 2013 9:40:48 PM

  23. It obviously isn't regulating bad haircuts. Confusion reigns.

    Posted by: Tim | Sep 21, 2013 12:59:44 AM

  24. So all those children had outside of marriage are second-class citizens too? Good to know.

    Posted by: Sam | Sep 21, 2013 5:46:26 AM

  25. He actually put this is a brief filed with the court!

    This is a gift to the plaintiffs without doubt. Not sure about the Michigan Supreme Court, but SCOTUS will rule against Michigan if it goes that far.

    Posted by: Dearcomrade | Sep 21, 2013 4:15:17 PM

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