Michigan Supreme Court: Sure They Lie, But The Religious Right is Smarter than We Are

“I think John and Troy should be able to protect their relationship, I just don’t think they should call what they have ‘marriage.’”

It isn’t that most people don’t want us to have a happy home and a long life together, it’s the word “marriage.” That’s the issue for a lot of people, probably even some of my readers. It was, in fact, what one member of my own family believed until I challenged him to tell me what qualities my sister’s 2nd and 3rd marriages had that our relationship doesn’t. (Answer: None.)

But the “let them be protected, but not married” logic is at least somewhat humane. In fact, back in 2004 Michigan voters passed a constitutional ban on gay marriage being assured by its pushers, people like Marlene Elwell and the Citizens for the Protection of Marriage, that:

“(This) has nothing to do with taking benefits away. This is about marriage between a man and a woman…”

They made a point of saying similar things in brochures and websites. Voters were told nothing would change, except that it would be for sure, for sure impossible for gay people to be “married.” Deb Price of the Detroit News tells of a frightening result of that constitutional change, however:

…Proposal 2 included language about not recognizing a “similar union for any purpose.” After getting the proposal passed, Citizens for the Protection of Marriage [edt.- yes, the same folks who said this has nothing to do with benefits] turned around and argued the “marriage” amendment bans public employers from offering partner health benefits.

And what happened? The Michigan Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional for public universities to offer partner health benefits! So partnered faculty who had been invited to teach with those benefits for their partners and children as part of the deal (and believe me, we don’t make decisions to move these days without knowing we have them), are screwed.

Universities are scrambling to figure out a way around the law, but Price points out, with a quote from one of the two dissenting judges, a far reaching result of the precedent setting ruling that should scare all of us, gay or straight:

“(T)he majority condones and even encourages the use of misleading tactics in ballot campaigns… (I)n the future, organizations may be encouraged to use lies and deception to win over voters or the court. This should be a discomforting thought for us all.”

Nineteen of the similar amendments to state constitutions, including Arkansas’, had similar “state shall not recognize similar union” clauses. It will take the U.S. a long time to climb out of this ridiculous hole. In the meantime, I guess Michigan won’t be getting as many talented professors as it once did and the religious right will continue to abbreviate the Ten Commandments to nine.


4 Responses to “Michigan Supreme Court: Sure They Lie, But The Religious Right is Smarter than We Are”

  1. May 14, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    I hate that this sort of thing is such a fight for you and others – it’s all so ridiculous to me.

  2. 3 Sumeannoffwemia
    December 29, 2008 at 11:44 am

    fqqaxgsagvkpolmgwell, hi admin adn people nice forum indeed. how’s life? hope it’s introduce branch 😉

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