Two Dozen Prominent Michigan Republicans File Brief In Favor Of Same-Sex Marriage

A brief has been filed by over two dozen prominent Republicans in Michigan's 6th Circuit Court of Appeals case regarding the state's same-sex marriage ban. This is an exciting development in the state whose voters originally approved the ban by a 59% majority.

BernardFriedmanAfter judge Bernard Friedman (right) overturned the ban this March, declaring it unconstitutional, Michigan attorney general Bill Schuette appealed that decision and asked for a stay; 299 couples married in the one day between, but as briefs pile up in support of same-sex marriage, the case for marriage equality is stronger by the day (especially considering precedent from the Supreme Court and other regional cases around the country). The Republican brief is a particularly resonant example of changing public opinion.

The Detroit Free Press reports:

“As various states have legalized civil marriage for same-sex couples, undersigned Amici, like many Americans, have examined the emerging evidence and have concluded that there is no legitimate, fact-based reason for denying same-sex couples the same recognition in law that is available to opposite-sex couples,” they said in the brief.

The brief was signed by 15 former members of either the state or U.S. House of Representatives, including former Speaker of the House Rick Johnson of LeRoy, U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz of Battle Creek, and state Rep. Chris Ward of Howell.

RainbowMichiganOther signers included attorneys and staffers whose opinions regarding marriage equality have changed in recent years. One former representative, Leon Drolet, argued that the brief could feasibly encourage other Republicans to "come out of the closet" about same-sex marriage, while former Michigan house speaker Rick Johnson said he believes the change in opinion is important for the continuation of the party.

“You make decisions, especially when you’re the leader, based on what’s going on at the time, and that was the movement at the time,” he said. “But now, if you’re going to be Republican and make the comments that we want a broad tent, then you should include everyone. A lot of people are tired of government in their house, in the backyard or in their bedroom.”

Many Michigan Republicans have retained their anti-same-sex marriage stance, but the thirty-one briefs filed in opposition to the ban on Monday indicate that such attitudes are ultimately falling by the way side. Drolet commented:

“Hopefully we’re moving to a place where treating people differently based on gender or sexual orientation will be an embarrassing part of our past.”


  1. robroy says

    “Johnson said he believes the change in opinion is important for the continuation of the party.” Yeah- that’s the sign of inclusiveness there.

    They had to accept the ‘coloreds’ and now they have to accept the queers or suburban women will not vote for them. So either they never were anti-gay but just went along with it to get in office or they are against us but willing to overlook it to stay in office.

    It all leads to them staying in office and lining the pockets of their overlords. Wonder how the Christian Conservatives that have done all their bidding for the last 40 years will react…

  2. pete n sfo says

    Like rats scrambling off a sinking ship…

    I’m sorry, is that not gracious enough?

    Of course I’m happy that people… even LEGAL SCHOLARS, (eye roll) have finally gotten on board in support of equality… but there’s is a part of me that will still be pissed off at GOP for a long time.

    It’s a bit like figuring out how to love my family members that still go to Catholic Church.

  3. simon says

    It is not that surprising by itself. What is more surprising is that there have not been more doing so. Since the churches theoretically only interested in the transcendental, they may be the last to evolve as a whole. For political parties, it is almost inevitable.

  4. Jack says

    It is good to see that people are changing their minds, but they are also all FORMER elected officials. Probably former because they knew that they couldnt get elected as Republicans in todays world. That is what is the most sad.
    Yet, I wouldn’t be surprised to see these same officials toe the party line when it comes to supporting whatever candidate who gets the nomination, even if that candidate is a mouth breathing cretin.

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