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Michigan Lawmaker to Launch Effort to Amend Gay Marriage Constitutional Ban in Michigan

Michigan Lawmaker to Launch Effort to Amend Gay Marriage Constitutional Ban in Michigan

Undoubtedly we are experiencing an ever-growing trend towards acceptance of the LGBT community as citizens with equal rights. President Obama recently signed a presidential memorandum authorizing special benefits for same-sex partners of federal workers. He indicated that it was a means of ensuring “competitiveness” with the private sector for the countries’ most talented professionals. Many LGBT members of society believe this is a pretense for what this new measure really is: a thank you for the gay community’s support in the 2008 Presidential election. Whatever it is, it certainly sends a signal to the states that if anything, the government is becoming more accepting of gays, lesbians, transgenders and bisexual citizens. This trend arguably began in the ‘60s with the Civil Rights movement but no one can deny the impact of the US Supreme Court’s decision decriminalizing homosexual sexual acts in Lawrence v Texas which overruled Bowers v Hardwick. The US Supreme Court in 2003 reversed the Court’s ruling just 16 years earlier on due process grounds. Citing the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause, the Court said in its 6-3 ruling that states cannot punish homosexual couples for engaging in sex acts that are legal for heterosexuals.


Homosexual couples currently can marry in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa and will be allowed to marry in Vermont starting in September 2009 and in New Hampshire from January 2010. Other states offer same-sex unions that grant many of the same rights as marriage.

Forty-two U.S. states explicitly prohibit gay marriage, including 29 with constitutional amendments, according to Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights advocacy group. Michigan is one of them. However, public opinion in Michigan is slowly swaying towards the acceptance of gay marriage.

Speaker Pro Tempore and Michigan House of Representative District 52 Pam Byrnes is set to announce at the 2009 Michigan Pride rally at the Capitol the launch of an effort to amend the Michigan Constitution to allow gay marriage. The proposed amendment would repeal the marriage amendment approved by voters in 2004 which reserved marriage exclusively for unions of one man and one woman, and replace it with specific authorization for gay and lesbian marriage rights.  Byrnes was motivated to launch this new initiative after seeing the results of a recent poll which was first reported June 7 in the Detroit Free Press which indicated Michigan voters have become more favorable to the idea of same sex unions since the marriage amendment was approved in  2004, states Pam Byrnes, D-Chelsea. 

The poll referenced by Byrnes showed considerable support for 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%, demonstrating more than 4% more support for gay-friendly initiatives today than in 2004.

Ms. Marrs is a 1992 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Economics. She received her law degree from Thomas M Cooley in 1998. Ms. Marrs practices in the areas of bankruptcy including adversary proceedings. http://www.marrsterryfamilylaw.com

Article from articlesbase.com

Same-Sex Marriage Cases Go Constitutional

The Constitution
by mbrand

A federal law suit filed last year by two California same-sex couples (one gay; one lesbian) has raised constitutional issues in the gay marriage context and is unfolding in a momentous trial.  In Massachusetts, another federal case tests whether a federal statutory provision that draws a sexual-preference distiniction is constitutional.

The complaint in Perry v Schwarzenneger, filed in the Northern District of California and assigned to Judge Vaughn R. Walker, has high-powered lawyers seeking far-reaching relief for the rights of (gay) individuals.  The case is another chapter in the tumultuous world of 21st Century Californian sex-gender politics.  The “all-in” nature of the Perry case, however, will have effects that touch most families in America.

You may or may not recall that back in 2004, the newly-elected young and dashing San Fransisco mayor Gavin Newsom made an international splash by presiding over same-sex civil marriage ceremonies conducted at City Hall.  The California Supreme Court squashed the practice in about 30-days, voiding all the marriage licenses issued as a result of Gavin’s project.

In a May 2008 change of course, the California Supreme Court decided (4-3) the case known as In Re Marriage Cases, holding that any California laws, “that treat persons differently because of their sexual orientation should be subjected to strict scrutiny…”  The California high court decision struck down proposed state legislation seeking to ban same-sex marriage on the grounds the initiative violated the California constitution.

Six months later, in yet another change of course, the California electorate (narrowly) approved Proposition 8, defining marriage as between opposite-sex couples only.  The California Supreme Court swiftly followed suit in Strauss v Horton, upholding the passage of Proposition 8, but applying that referendum prospectively, thereby preserving the approximately 18,000 marriages that had been performed prior to the passage of the referendum; and perhaps unwittingly creating an arbitrary class of persons to which other gays can point in an equal protection analysis. 

Enter the lesbian couple Kris Perry and Sandy Stier (Berkeley) and gay couple Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo (San Fernando Valley), pictured in the above link emerging from the federal courthouse following the first day of court proceedings.  The couples, very carefully selected by well-funded and well-connected gay rights activists, were apparently up for the arduous task of prosecuting constitutional federal litigation.  Neither couple were among the tens of thousands to take advantage of the narrow 6-month window to obtain a marriage license in mid-2008, making them ideal constitutional-litigants. 

Some gay rights activists have criticized the suit as premature and ahead of the public opinion curve on the same-sex marriage issue.  While the concept seems to be gaining ground in abstract opinion polls, to date, only 5-states allow same-sex marriages:  Connecticut,Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.  On the other hand, 29-states (including Michigan) have amended their Constitutions to outright ban gay marriage by defining a marriage as between a man and a woman. 

Many in the front-lines of the gay rights movement prefer the slower, state-by-state approach to “resolving” the same-sex marriage issue.  They worry that the Supreme Court could hand their movement a serious setback by issuing a neutral or worse, an anti-gay, decision along the lines of the 1986 Bowers v Hartwick decision (upholding a Georgia sodomy law on the basis there was no constitutional protection for sexual privacy).  It took the high court 17-years to reverse the dubious Bowers decision in the seminal 2003 case of Lawrence v Texas, which expressly overruled their prior decision as defining the liberty and privacy interests of two consenting adults too narrowly to survive a Due Process analysis.

There is also a notion that gay-marriage was removed via the ballot box and that’s where the battle should be won.  In our Democracy, however, core individual rights (once defined) are not subject to the ebb and flow of majority rule. 

Other gays are tired of waiting, however, genuinely offended by the series of referendums passed which discriminate against their sexual orientation.  For example, California already has a progressive civil union statute to protect property rights and employment benefits.  But the Perry case is about much more than property rights and benefits; it is about individual liberty and the sacred right to chose one’s life partner, one’s spouse, without interference from the state.  Court watchers equate the Perry case to that of Brown v Board of Education (abolishing the “separate but equal” fallacy in public schools) and Loving v Virginia (holding that a state could not prohibit interracial marriages).

Whatever the outcome of the trial, an intermediate appeal to the Ninth Circuit is guaranteed to send this one to the United States Supreme Court.  Plaintiffs are represented by the unlikely but outstanding duo of Ted Olson and David Boies of Bush v Gore fame.  The former represented Bush as Solicitor General; the latter represented Vice President Al Gore in the famous case settling the 2000 presidential election. 

Olson’s conservative credentials have led some to wonder whether he is serving as a “double agent” planted to hand the movement a serious setback at the high court.  Olson should be taken at his word, however, when he states that, separate is not equal and that a “civil union” is not the same as a marriage.  With 44-wins already before the high-court, Olson likes his chances at that level and genuinely believes he’s on the correct side of this issue.

In the meantime, the Perry case has already been to SCOTUS; Judge Walker’s decision to televise the trial on YouTube was appealed from the other end of the state by Senator Dennis Hollingsworth.  The appeal stayed the trial judge’s decision to stream the trial to the Internet and subject all of us to reading about the case, or suffering through a painful re-enactment of the trial.  Several key depositions taken last fall, however, have been leaked to YouTube, and effectively convey the background surrounding what is shaping-up as our next great civil rights struggle.

5-votes will be required to establish precedent once a writ of certiorari is inevitably issued by the high-court in the case.  Olson and Boies will probably need to persuade Justice Anthony Kennedy, an oft-breaker of ties at the Court. 

SCOTUS-watchers figure the so-called liberal bloc of Justices (Ruth Bader Ginnsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, and John Paul Stevens) will vote to condemn Proposition 8 as unconstitutional on Equal Protection grounds.  Since Justice Stevens announced his retirement on Friday, effective at the close of this session of the Court in June, President Obama’s second high-court nomination takes on critical importance in the Perry case.  Justice Stevens’ replacement will most-likely be a confirmed sitting Justice by the time Perry is on the high-court’s docket sometime in 2012; the day-after-tomorrow from the Supreme Court’s usual long-range perspective.

Of note:  Perry is not the only “gay-rights” case percolating through the federal courts at the moment.  Also destined for certiorari is Gill v Office of Personnel Management.   That case presents a more narrow constitutional challenge to a specific provision of the Defense Against Marriage Act preventing same-sex couples from receiving benefits that other non-gay federal employees receive for their families.

Plaintiff’s counsel in Gill, Mary Bonauto, prevailed in the Massachusetts case that legalized gay-marriage.  While Bonauto acknowledges that her more-recent federal case is not the left-coast headline-generator that Perry is, she is mindful that both cases seek to expose the federal government’s “double standard” when it comes to same-sex marriage; the feds recognize a wide-variety of marriages once they are licensed by a state, except in the case of gay-marriages.  Bonauto and other legal professionals fear that Perry seeks too momentous and far-reaching relief; the decision, after all, could invalidate anti-gay-marriage laws in nearly 40-states.

Michigan Connection:  In addition to those of us who have a family member involved in a same-sex union (my brother) or who are themselves involved in such a union, the left-coast Perry case could invalidate the 2004 Marriage Amendment to Michigan’s constitution.

Also, the electronic divorce attorney (yours truly) will be admitted to the bar of the United States Supreme Court on the final day of this session, June 21st; Justice Stevens’ final day of his long career on the high-court. 

Stay tuned for the outcomes of these cases folks as we strive to keep you informed of significant developments.


Timothy P. Flynn is an Attorney practicing in Southeast Michigan.  He maintains a general law practice in the primary areas of family law, criminal law, and probate litigation.



Article from articlesbase.com

Why not gay marriage if freedom of religion?

Question by Lauren M: Why not gay marriage if freedom of religion?
Why do people think gay marriage shouldn’t be allowed because it’s not a marriage God would sanction? If there are sects of Christianity (and there are) who think gay marriage is acceptable in the eyes of God, and we live in a country with freedom of religion, why don’t we HAVE to allow gay marriages to respect their religions? Why should a religion that says it’s wrong be given more creedence than one that says it’s not wrong?

Best answer:

Answer by Mack C
You have a very opposing argumeant i like that

Because gays get lower tax income and many will often fake it to lose anywere from 25-50 on taxes sorta like a roomate thing and no their are not any christian sects that think gay marrige is ok i dunno were the @#$ % you heard that from

Add your own answer in the comments!

Mayday For Marriage: Self-Righteous Jamboree Albany, NY, May 24th 2011

Anti same-sex marriage rally by the Mayday For Marriage crowd. It’s my first time using my camcorder, and my first time working on any kind of video, and first time learning/using imovie. I know it’s kinda rough but… As Max Blumenthal might say, “Feel The Hate.” I’d put it more like “Feel the idio(theo)cracy.” Enjoy…
Video Rating: 0 / 5

Science & Reason on Facebook: tinyurl.com The Dark Side of Religion – Christopher Hitchens @ FreedomFest (Part 3). — Please subscribe to Science & Reason: • www.YouTube.com • www.YouTube.com • www.YouTube.com • www.YouTube.com — Dinesh D’Souza and Christopher Hitchens go at it again at the 2008 Freedom Fest as the “Main Event”. FreedomFest is an annual festival where “free minds meet” to celebrate “great books, great ideas, and great thinkers” in an open-minded society. It is independent, non-partisan, and not affiliated with any organization or think tank. Founded and produced by Mark Skousen, since 2002, FreedomFest invites the “best and the brightest” from around the world to talk, strategize, socialize, and celebrate liberty. FreedomFest is open to all and is purely egalitarian, where speakers, attendees, and exhibitors are treated as equals. www.freedomfest.com Christopher Hitchens (born 1949) is an author, journalist and literary critic. Currently living in Washington, DC, he has been a columnist at Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, World Affairs, The Nation, Slate, Free Inquiry, and a variety of other media outlets. Hitchens is also a political observer, whose books — the latest being “God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything” — have made him a staple of talk shows and lecture circuits. In 2009 Hitchens was listed by Forbes magazine as one of the “25 most influential liberals in US media.” The same article noted, though, that he would “likely be aghast to

Migratemate Offers a Convenient Marriage: a Partnership for Citizenship

Migratemate Offers a Convenient Marriage: a Partnership for Citizenship

(PRWEB) November 30, 2003

During its month’s trial period, Migratemate.com received over 14,000 visitors and over 1,000 members, simply from word of mouth. The members come from over 50 countries, and the most sought after citizenships are for America, Australia, Canada, EU and the United Kingdom.

Migratemate.com founder James Franklin said: “This shows the huge demand there is for people seeking citizenship of another country to meet with privacy, safely and without abuse.”

James Franklin continued: “They are already advertising all over the world, often in unsuitable places, leaving themselves vulnerable to fraudsters, gangsters and traffickers. We are not encouraging anyone to break any immigration law, only enabling these people to have a place to meet free from danger and abuse.”

The site was created from a sense of injustice, “that a basic human right, the freedom of movement and settlement, is denied to so many people.” said James Franklin.

“And not merely denied due to their country, but their sexuality,” he says. “In many countries same-sex couples are denied immigration rights, and gay and lesbian binational couples are forced into a façade to save their relationship.”

However, Migratemate.com is based on reasons not only ethical but economic. James Franklin explained: “Capitalism is incompatible with nationalism. Free trade must be followed by free movement, not merely of goods and ideas, but also of people.

“If we open labour markets to foreigners we increase competition and so improve efficiency. Only companies who hire undocumented workers benefit from the subsidy of illegality by not paying minimum wage or providing insurance.

“Prohibition only creates a new set of criminals, as people wanting to be good citizens are forced to be illegal immigrants. These people are willing to risk everything, to cross the world for a new and better life. Such courage and creativity would benefit any country.”

For more information or to schedule an interview with James Franklin, please contact us at press@migratemate.com

Please note: Migratemate.com does not facilitate any meeting, but serves purely as an introduction agency and not an intermediary nor accessory for any illegal act that may occur, nor does it condone any such act.

# # #

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Related Citizenship And Freedom Press Releases

Could legalizing gay marriage cause a moderate risk to national security? In which countries?

Question by Scyllis: Could legalizing gay marriage cause a moderate risk to national security? In which countries?
Afghanistan is obviously the most obvious one, where the civil govt is unstable and only has tenous contro, with a lot of its support built on popularity– any other examples where such an act would estrange the gov’t from a segment of the population so much as to jeopardize a country’s national security interests?

Best answer:

Answer by vinny_says_relax
Theres no such thing as gay marriage.

Marriage is a man and a woman…If they allow gays to marry because they ‘love’ each other then you also have to allow brothers and sisters who love each other, someone who loves their dog can marry it, marry their mother as well, pervert it all they want.

Give your answer to this question below!

What does the constitution say about gay marriage?

Question by MyOpinionOnly: What does the constitution say about gay marriage?
If we’re supposed to abide by the constitution, then why is there even an argument about gay marriage? Isn’t that a debate for the churches? Whatever happened to separate of church and state?

Best answer:

Answer by Political Thug & Marxist
It says “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
-10th Amendment

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) isued to block implementation of the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA) — European Connections & Tours, Inc. vs. Gonzalez, et al., No. 1:06-cv-00426-CC, U.S.D.C., N.D. Ga. (Temporary Restraining Order, March 07, 2006, Cooper, D.J.)

Crestview, FL (PRWEB) March 10, 2006

Citizens Against Dating Discrimination (CADD), U.S. international online dating Webmasters.

United States District Judge Clarence Cooper out of the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division issued the TRO on March 7, 2006, barring the government from enforcing the International Marriage Broker Act of 2005 against European Connections & Tours Inc. A Preliminary Injunction Hearing in this matter is now scheduled for March 20, 2006. (European Connections & Tours, Inc. vs. Gonzalez, et al., No. 1:06-cv-00426-CC, U.S.D.C., N.D. Ga.)

CADD’s stance is that IMBRA fails to protect immigrant women from abuse and also violates American men’s privacy rights in the process.

As one CADD member said:

“This law requires international dating webmasters to be policemen and collect background information on male members. The law requires this background information to be forwarded to any lady a male wants to meet at the introduction stage without regard to his privacy. Without the gentleman getting to know the lady,this information could be used as leverage by an unethical lady for financial gain and U.S. law has no jurisdiction in her country to stop her from spreading his personal information throughout the internet.”

CADD maintains that it is not fair for giant sites like Match.com to be exempt from doing background checks. Members of CADD are appalled at the law’s hypocrisy for protecting immigrant women from abuse by exempting larger corporate sites like Match.com and other similar corporate dating sites from having to abide by the law’s guidelines.

One CADD member said that we have asked the following question of feminist, politicians, and other supporters of IMBRA and yet to get an adequate answer:

“If the intent of IMBRA is to protect immigrant women from abuse, why exempt larger corporate sites with their huge male membership base of U.S. men interested in meeting immigrant women?”

Further elaboration by the same CADD member said:

“Immigrant women are just as likely to meet an abusive male on one of these larger exempted sites and maybe even more so since they have a larger male membership base than many of the smaller international sites combined”

In CADD’s research they found that Federal judges don’t often issue a TRO barring the enforcement of a federal law. CADD believes the court has shown a substantial likelihood of prevailing in this case on the merits of IMBRA being unconstitutional, unfair business practice, an invasion of male’s privacy and does not offer substantial proof that the law’s intent to protect immigrant women from abuse has merit without prejudice and equality under the law.

As one CADD member said:

“We have been working night and day to save our mom and pop websites. But, more importantly, to preserve our freedoms, liberties and the right to date whom we want without concerns that our personal information will be used as public record by citizens from other countries. It’s a tough law to fight because of popular buzz words like human trafficking, but we ask the politicians and lawmakers to look beyond the buzz words. Instead, look at the law’s prejudice and unjust implications to U.S. male citizens while at the same time it imposes stiff requirements on smaller international sites and exempts larger corporate sites with their huge male membership base.”

CADD’s other Public Release addressed many of our concerns about this law and even addressed a common sense solution at: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/3/prweb354100.htm CADD believes that once lawmakers read the law (it was passed on a simple undemocratic “voice vote” in the House and a “unanimous consent” vote by the Senate) it will be repealed and replaced with common sense legislation.

CADD believes that IMBRA cannot survive serious legal challenges or media scrutiny. As stated on page 9 of the certified statement by European Connections:

“The number of foreign women profiled who are listed on websites exempted by law such as Match.com, Yahoosingle.com and Friendfinder.com dwarf the total number of profiles listed by International Marriage Brokers worldwide. For example, I have performed a search at Friendfinder.com. I found 354,166 foreign and 553,976 women listed on their site. None of these women, whether foreign or national, are protected by the act.”

CADD believes the government should repeal IMBRA now, work on common sense laws to protect U.S. male’s privacy and provide practical solutions to protecting immigrant women from abuse without causing undo hardship to smaller international dating sites in favor of exempting larger sites from the same requirements. Until such time, CADD and its members will work hard to raise awareness about these issues.


The following links are to documents issued by U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

Certified Court Statement by European Connections: http://www.online-dating-rights.com/pdf/ConBrief.pdf

Brief by Lawyer for European Connections: http://www.online-dating-rights.com/pdf/ConBrief.pdf

TRO issued by the court: http://www.online-dating-rights.com/pdf/TRO.pdf

You can read IMBRA 2005 here: http://www.online-dating-rights.com/pdf/IMBRA2005.pdf

The following website is a place to discuss our online dating rights: http://www.online-dating-rights.com


Q&A: Does the ban on gay marriage go against the separation of church & state?

Question by Kage Nara: Does the ban on gay marriage go against the separation of church & state?
I believe that this does, I have yet to see an opponet of gay marriage who is not against it because of their particular religious beliefs, this goes agains the supposed law of “seperation of church and state”

Can anyone give a (reasonable) reason for the ban on gay marriage that is not based on their own or someone else’s religous beliefs. I will listen to it if you can, but I do not see this happening.

Best answer:

Answer by Pfo
Gay couples don’t produce children.

Add your own answer in the comments!

Things To Know Before Searching For Marriage Record Information

Marriage records are public files that normally kept in the courthouse where the couple was married in. Since the Freedom of Information Act was granted, any individual has rights to acquire anyone’s marriage record information; however some procedures and agreements need to be followed.

Marriage records are the details about the marriage of 2 individuals and often composed of bride’s and groom’s names, personal information of both including their parents and witnesses, the marriage date, the place where the marriage was organized and the information about the previous marriages.

The physical marriage license usually contains 3 copies which are given to the couple as well as the government to keep the files as the official evidence.

The mentioned information can be useful in many aspects such as giving you some ideas of what kind of marriage you are going to be in and can also be useful during the divorce cases. The process of obtaining the marriage record information can be done both offline and online. Both sources are beneficial, yet, in different approach.

For official application in most cases, only the certified hard-copies from the local government offices are considered practical. But as going to receive the records from the officers can be time consuming and costly, online source is useful as the initial info and to ensure the existence of the records you are looking for.

Online process is the most convenient way with instant results and privacy, however, the website (the information provider) needs to be carefully considered and selected in order to obtain the most reliable and useful information.

If you want to trying doing the marriage record online, try here.