same-sex marriage

Divorce is complicated. Even more so if there are children involved. But, for Carter Cortelyou there was another layer to his divorce that made it difficult for him to talk to about it, until now.  

In 2009, his wife came out to him — told him she is a lesbian. Since then, Cortelyou has gone through grief, isolation, financial challenges and re-entering the dating world unexpectedly.

“My first thought was there goes our 25th wedding anniversary (laughs), we were 24-years-married at the time and…there goes our 25th.”

County clerks across the state are getting ready for however the U.S. Supreme Court might rule on legalizing same-sex marriage.

Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum says she’s keeping an e-mail list of gay and lesbian couples that want to get married, “…so when a decision in support of equality does come down, I can have direct communication with those parties that may be interested in obtaining a marriage license.”

Controversial adoption on its way to Governor Rick Snyder would allow faith-based adoption agencies that take public money to refuse to work with same-sex couples. That’s even if the US Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage.

The legislation says adoption agencies that take public funds can turn away prospective clients based on a religious objection. That pretty much mirrors the existing state policy.

Rick Pluta

Michigan is now waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to make its decision on same-sex marriage bans like the one adopted by voters 11 years ago.

Thousands of demonstrators for and against same-sex marriage pressed up to the steps of the Supreme Court and cheered and jeered as the litigants emerged.

The state of Michigan says it’s an issue for voters to decide. The challengers says there’s no reason for Michigan and other states to deny same-sex couples the right to marry.

April DeBoer says she’s optimistic the court will allow her to marry her partner, Jayne Rowse.

People have been lining up outside the U.S. Supreme Court for days hoping that they will be among the lucky ones to get a seat for Tuesday's historic arguments on gay marriage.

As of now, gay marriage is legal in 36 states. By the end of this Supreme Court term, either same-sex couples will be able to wed in all 50 states, or gay marriage bans may be reinstituted in many of the states where they've previously been struck down.

Paul Maritinez/Flickr

Many adoptions in Michigan are handled by private agencies – and many of those agencies are religiously affiliated, such as Catholic Charities. State lawmakers are considering a bill that would give these agencies the right to deny service to couples based on its own religious beliefs.

Supporters say the bill would protect these agencies' first amendment rights. But critics say the bill would lead to discrimination against same-sex couples.

April 15th, the looming tax deadline, is approaching.

While it can be complicated for anyone to figure out what we owe Lansing and Uncle Sam, there’s a particular group facing extra complications: same-sex couples in Michigan. These couples can file a joint form for their federal taxes, but the state of Michigan considers them single.

Democratic lawmakers in Lansing are proposing a group of bills that would repeal Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage.

This legislation comes a little over a month before the Supreme Court will take up the Michigan case on the legality of same sex marriage.

State Rep. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield, says they are introducing these bills now because Sunday marks the one-year anniversary of 300 same sex couples who were married in Michigan.

Legislation that would allow faith-based adoption agencies to refuse to work with LGBT couples or anyone else based on moral or religious grounds is headed to the floor of the state House.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

More than 300 gay and lesbian couples in Michigan are legally married now that Governor Rick Snyder has decided not to contest a court order. It says the state has to recognize the marriages that took place last spring.

But, the state will continue to defend the same-sex marriage ban in a case before the US Supreme Court.

It was Snyder’s call whether the state would appeal after a federal judge ruled that more than 300 same-sex couples are legally married and told the state to treat them as married.

Two unmarried people would be able to jointly adopt children together under a bill in the state House. Under current law, only married couples or single individuals can be grated parental rights to an adopted child.

For many same-sex couples, the issue could be decided when the U.S. Supreme Court rules on Michigan’s gay marriage ban. But the bill’s sponsor says the ruling still won’t affect joint adoption for unmarried people.

Updated at 5:04 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide on gay marriage this term.

The justices said today they will review an appellate court's decision to uphold the ban on same-sex marriage in Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky. The four states are among 14 that ban same-sex marriage.

Jake Neher / Michigan Public Radio Network

A federal judge says the state must recognize the marriages of 300 gay and lesbian couples. They were married last year during a one-day window in Michigan when it was legal.

 Read the opinion here.

This preliminary ruling was handed down as the justices of the US Supreme Court could be about to decide whether to hear a challenge to same-sex marriage bans in Michigan and three other states.

Michigan has filed its response with the US Supreme Court to the legal challenge to the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. The state is asking the court to take the case, and uphold the US 6th Circuit Court’s decision that voters and legislators – not judges -- should decide the question.

“This case comes down to two words: who decides,” is the opening to the state’s brief. “The history of our democracy demonstrates the wisdom of allowing the people to decide important

issues at the ballot box, rather than ceding those decisions to unelected judges.”

Michigan Public Radio Network

  The legal team for April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse filed its appeal today (Mon.) with the US Supreme Court. They want the court to rule that Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage and others like it across the country are unconstitutional.

Fast track

This is speedy timing as Supreme Court appeals go. The US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled less than two weeks ago, upholding same-sex marriage bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

The Ohio and Tennessee same-sex marriage appeals were filed last week. Now, Kentucky and Michigan have filed. The goal is to get the case on the Supreme Court’s calendar in the current term.

“We’re very, very hopeful that the Supreme Court will take one of our cases,”said Dana Nessel,  an attorney for DeBoer and Rowse, the lesbian couple from Hazel Park who sued the state of Michigan over its same-sex marriage ban. The two nurses want to get married so they can jointly adopt the children they’re raising together.

Bans on same-sex marriage in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee were confirmed by a federal court Thursday, in a ruling that provides yet another shift in the legal fight over the issue.

The 2-1 decision handed down by the Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit comes after the four states had argued this summer that their voters had the authority to decide whether to ban marriage between a same-sex couple.

 


The U.S. Supreme Court decided on Monday it will not review lower court rulings on same-sex marriage cases from several states.


Kathy Gray, Detroit Free Press reporter, says that means the U.S. Supreme Court let those lower court rulings stand, which lift the ban on same-sex marriage in the five states  Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Indiana. 


Michigan's case is still up in the air, because it's being heard  along with cases in Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky  in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and a decision could come at any time.


The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear seven same-sex marriage cases. And that leaves the fate of Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban with the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

A decision from the Sixth Circuit could come at any time. The case was argued in August. Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee are also waiting on the ruling. A decision to uphold same-sex marriage bans in those states and Michigan would create a conflict between different circuits that could land the case before the Supreme Court.

Michigan joined three other states yesterday in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. All four states argued to keep their bans against same-sex marriage intact.

Rick Pluta with the Michigan Public Radio Network was in Cincinnati to hear the arguments. He joined us on the show today.

“The case in Cincinnati focused on the fact that this same-sex marriage ban was approved by voters, and that courts really ought not to step in and just change what voters have decided. So the arguments were: should the judiciary step in and say that states cannot ban same-sex marriage, and if now is the right time to do it.”

Rick Pluta / Michigan Public Radio Network

  The future of Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage is in the hands of a federal appeals court. Michigan was one of four states before the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati Wednesday, arguing to keep their bans in place.

If the Potter Stewart Federal Courthouse had a theater marquee, it might have proclaimed a full-fledged “Legalpalooza” with six cases from four states playing in one marathon session. Some people, about a half a dozen, even spent the night outside the courthouse in hopes of getting a seat to the show.

Catholic Parish Bans Gay Man From Ministering

Jun 17, 2014
WNMU Marquette

A gay man from Marquette has been told he can no longer actively participate in mass at his local Catholic parish.

The mandate from St. Michael’s came after Bobby Glenn Brown held a commitment ceremony Saturday with his partner of 31 years.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmpbMvxlgpA

Governor Rick Snyder's statement after a federal court overturns Michigan's ban on same sex marriage in March 2014.

The American Civil Liberties Union has asked a federal court to order the state to recognize 300 same-sex marriages performed in Michigan last March.

“These marriages happened during a window when it was legal to get married in Michigan, and 300 couples were married lawfully,” says  Kary Moss of the ACLU. The marriages took place back in March, the day after a federal judge struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage and before that order was put on hold by an appeals court.

Governor Rick Snyder says he wants the Legislature to add protections for people who are lesbian, gay, and transgender to the state’s civil rights law. The governor joins business leaders attending the Detroit Regional Chamber conference on Mackinac Island in calling for a change to the law.

The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act already has protections based on race, national origin, marital status, gender, and weight, among other things. Governor Snyder sent the strongest signal yet that he’d look favorably on adding LGBT rights to the law.

Backers of same-sex marriage are launching what an education campaign that could eventually evolve into a ballot effort to reverse Michigan’s constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Emily Dievendorf is part of the “Michigan for Marriage” campaign. She says Michiganders need to understand why gays and lesbians want the same ability to marry as heterosexuals. 

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