Sunday, June 14, 2009

Michigan Representative Proposing Marriage Equality Resolution

Michigan lawmaker, Rep. Pam Byrnes announced a joint resolution Saturday to change the current state law defining marriage between one man and one woman, thus overturning the 2004 constitutional amendment passed by voters that banned same-sex marriage.

The resolution faces many challenges, such as gaining two-thirds approval of the Michigan Legislature before it would be put to voters in the 2010 election. (A route that Prop 8 should've gone through here in California, but the CA Supreme Court apparently disagrees.)

Byrnes felt prompted to launch the initiative after seeing the results of a recent poll that showed Michigan voters have become more favorable to the idea of same sex unions since 2004.

The poll showed considerable support for some gay-friendly policies, but less than a majority (46.5%) in favor of gay marriage. The ballot proposal endorsing traditional marriage was approved 58%-42%

The proposal would be opposed at every step by many of the same groups that successfully supported the 2004 campaign, such as the Catholic Church.

Another opponent, Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, said he doubts even a simple majority of the Democrat-led House would overturn the 2004 statewide vote.

"But it does make for high drama, as political theater goes, to announce such radical legislation during a homosexual 'rights' rally, even though it'll never see the light of day thereafter," Glenn said.

Byrnes said same-sex couples deserve the same rights as opposite-sex couples in state law.

"No doubt, it will be a fight," Byrnes said. "But we're seeing some attitudes change."

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