Saturday, March 22, 2014

Equality comes to Michigan

A federal court has struck down Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional:

Michigan's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, a federal judge said Friday as he struck down a law that was widely embraced by voters a decade ago — the latest in a recent series of decisions overturning similar prohibitions across the country.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman released his 31-page ruling exactly two weeks after a rare trial that mostly focused on the impact of same-sex parenting on children.

He noted that supporters of same-sex marriage believe the Michigan ban was at least partly the result of animosity toward gays and lesbians.

"Many Michigan residents have religious convictions whose principles govern the conduct of their daily lives and inform their own viewpoints about marriage," Friedman said. "Nonetheless, these views cannot strip other citizens of the guarantees of equal protection under the law."

The ruling is of course being appealed, but unlike other similar recent cases, it hasn't been stayed - meaning that Michigan citizens will be free to marry the moment the clerk's offices open. Which is what happens when you case relies solely on bigotry and hate.