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Category Archives: Michigan

Shrinking Support for Same-Sex Marriage in Michigan

USA Today reported on May 28 that a new poll shows support for redefining marriage has dropped in Michigan.

The author notes that, "the pollster who conducted the survey says the result goes against the trend and may be a one-time change." It never seems to have occurred to the pollster to question the accuracy of previous polls or to compare the questioning employed in this poll with the earlier ones to try to analyze the difference.

154066523In any case, these poll results don't surprise us. Overwhelmingly, in the majority of cases when voters have been given the opportunity to vote on marriage, they have expressed the view that marriage should be defined as the union of one man and one woman.

The poll, done May 17-20 exclusively for the Detroit Free Press, WXYZ-TV in Detroit and our statewide media polling partners by EPIC-MRA of Lansing, found that if a vote on allowing same-sex marriage in Michigan were held today, 47% would vote yes and 46% would vote no. The remaining 7% were either undecided or refused to say.

When EPIC-MRA asked Michiganders about same-sex marriage in May 2013, 51% said they supported it and 41% said they were opposed.

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The shift in the poll numbers comes as residents await a federal appellate court ruling affecting about 300 gay couples who were married in March, when it was briefly legalized in Michigan — and many more of the state's same-sex couples who would like to do so.

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On March 21, U.S. District Judge Bernard A. Friedman struck down Michigan's same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional following a lawsuit brought by a lesbian couple alleging discriminatory adoption rules. Clerks in four Michigan counties opened their offices the next morning, allowing about 300 same-sex couples to marry before the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed Friedman's order and halted the marriages later that day.

The case is now set for arguments before the 6th Circuit on Aug. 6 and could be headed for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Catholic bishops and a multitude of pastors in the Wolverine state support protecting the institution of marriage and respecting the votes of millions of Michigan voters.

Religious Americans Will Keep Fighting for Marriage

Star Parker, the President of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE), wrote in the Washington Examiner last week that religious Americans will not give up their defense of marriage.

Same-sex 'marriage' activists have not won, Parker says, despite claims that defending marriage is pointless and the efforts of activist judges to overturn state laws protecting marriage.

Family Saying Grace before MealParker writes:

In 1831, a French aristocrat named Alexis de Tocqueville arrived in America and spent several years traveling and studying life in the communities of the new nation...

Tocqueville wrote, “There is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America.”

And he wrote, “Of the world’s countries, America is surely the one where the bond of marriage is most respected, and where they have conceived the highest and most just idea of conjugal happiness.”

As we know, today times are changing. Religion and the institutions of traditional marriage and family are being challenged and, rather than being seen as enablers of our freedom, are now regularly portrayed as obstacles to it.

Since same-sex marriage was legalized in Massachusetts 10 years ago, it has become legal in 17 states and the District of Columbia and is now recognized by the federal government.

The onslaught continues where laws protecting traditional marriage in many states are being overturned by courts and lawsuits are now pending in 30 states.

Even the Bible Belt has been penetrated, and recently, a judge in Arkansas struck down state law protecting traditional marriage...

However, despite the argument that “gay rights” is today’s signature civil rights battle as racial equality was the civil rights battle of the 1960’s, blacks are generally not buying it.

Newlyweds on Church StarcaseAccording to the Pew survey, support for legal same sex marriage among black Protestants at 43 percent indicates that support has increased in this community, but remains far below the national average.

A coalition of 100 black pastors in Michigan now stands in vehement opposition to a federal district court ruling in March overturning a voter-approved measure which amended the Michigan constitution in 2004 to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

The pastors, along with other Christian groups, are filing an amicus brief in support of the appeal of the court decision by Michigan attorney general Bill Schuette.

Blacks, on average, attend church with greater frequency than any other ethnic group in the country. And blacks take Scripture seriously.

It is a no-brainer for many church-going blacks that discrimination because of race is very different from choices in sexual behavior.

Only 32 percent of Republicans, according to Pew, support same-sex marriage legalization. This issue, along with abortion, is not going away as a source of tension in the Republican Party.

Black pastors know first hand how moral relativism destroys communities. They are not about to buy into it.

Nor are Christian evangelicals who represent a meaningful portion of the Republican Party.

Although most blacks and Christian evangelicals have probably not read the words of Tocqueville, they appreciate the truths that he identified in 1835 about the importance of religious values to American freedom.

This fight is far from over.

Read more.

ICYMI: Black Pastors Argue Redefining Marriage Not Comparable to Civil Rights Struggle

Last week, a coalition of black pastors said that it's incorrect and offensive to compare redefining marriage to the civil rights movement.  The group held a press conference to announce an amicus brief being filed in favor of Michigan's marriage amendment.

The Thomas More Law Center filed the amicus on behalf of more than 100 black pastors from Detroit, Michigan, and Ohio defending Michigan's marriage amendment, which is headed to the U.S. 6th Court of Appeals after a judge recently declared it unconstitutional.  The Michigan voter-supported Marriage Protection Act preserves marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

BP News

Erin Mersino, the main drafter of the brief, said:

“It has been an honor working with the coalition of pastors closely to ensure that their unique voice is heard.  The coalition was upset with the notion that the voice of 2.7 million Michigan voters could be silenced by the opinion of one federal court judge.  The court drew upon legal precedent which rightfully allowed interracial couples to marry, inherently raising similarities between racial equality and same-sex marriage.  The coalition has made clear that they believe this comparison is offensive. ”

The brief criticized the notion that the fight to redefine marriage is similar to the Civil Rights Movement, noting:

 “Comparing the dilemmas of same-sex couples to the centuries of discrimination faced by Black Americans is a distortion of our country’s cultural and legal history. The disgraces and unspeakable privations in our nation’s history pertaining to the civil rights of Black Americans are unmatched. No other class of individuals, including individuals who are same-sex attracted, have ever been enslaved, or lawfully viewed not as human, but as property. Same-sex attracted individuals have never lawfully been forced to attend different schools, walk on separate public sidewalks, sit at the back of the bus, drink out of separate drinking fountains, denied their right to assemble, or denied their voting rights. Id. The legal history of these disparate classifications, i.e., immutable racial discrimination and same-sex attraction, is incongruent.”

“There is no surer way to destroy an institution like marriage than to destroy its meaning.  If 'marriage' means whatever one judge wants it to mean, it means nothing. If it has no fixed meaning, it is merely a vessel for a judge’s will. It is used as a subterfuge for judicial legislation.”

The pastors expressed their offense at the comparison of black civil rights struggles to marriage redefinition.

“To state that marriage redefinition is in any way similar to the civil rights movement is intellectually empty, dishonest and manufactured,” said Minister Stacy Swimp, founder of Revive Alive Missional Ministry.

“Judge Friedman is sanctioning the staging of a false story,” said Pastpr James Crowder, of St. Galilee Baptist church and president of the Westside Minister's Alliance, Detroit, Michigan. “On stage are many actors who pretend that redefining traditional marriage is as valid as Blacks fighting against the carnage of chattel slavery and the humiliation of Jim Crow. Never have I been so insulted. The curtain must be pulled down on this play of disinformation.”

"We want to make a statement to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals that the people of the state of Michigan, particularly Black Pastors and Christians, continue to stand by the Marriage Protection Act," Swimp said.

The full amicus brief can be viewed here.

Michigan's Catholic Bishops: Judge's decision "strikes at the very essence of family, community and human nature"

The Catholic bishops of the seven archdioceses and dioceses of Michigan released a statement Friday responding to the decision by federal district court Judge Bernard Friedman finding Michigan's Marriage Amendment unconstitutional - a decision they called "most regrettable."

Bishop CassockThe statement is posted on the site of the Michigan Catholic Conference, and reads in part:

Today’s decision from federal district court Judge Bernard Friedman to redefine the institution of marriage by declaring Michigan’s Marriage Amendment unconstitutional strikes at the very essence of family, community and human nature. In effect, this decision advances a misunderstanding of marriage, and mistakenly proposes that marriage is an emotional arrangement that can simply be redefined to accommodate the dictates of culture and the wants of adults.

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Going forward, we, the Catholic bishops of this state, working through the Michigan Catholic Conference, will collaborate with those who are upholding Michigan’s Marriage Amendment and adoption statute and will assist to the greatest extent possible efforts to appeal Judge Friedman’s most regrettable ruling.

Read the full statement here.

Poll: Majority of Michigan Voters Want Marriage Defined as Husband and Wife!

New poll results out this week show that 51% of Michigan voters are opposed to legislation that would redefine marriage in their state. Just 42% would support such legislation. According to Mlive.com:

Michigan SunsetA slim majority of likely Michigan voters would oppose legislation or a ballot measure seeking to allow same-sex marriage in the state, according to results of a new statewide poll that seem to contradict other recent surveys.

Denno Research, in a poll conducted for and released Thursday by the Lambert Edwards & Associates public relations firm, asked 600 likely voters whether they would support or oppose attempts to legalize gay marriage through legislation or the ballot box.

All told, more than 51 percent of respondents said they would oppose such efforts, including 34 percent who said they would be strongly opposed. Roughly 42 percent of likely voters said they would support legislation or a ballot issue to allow same-sex marriage, including 18 percent who said they would be strongly supportive.

Marriage Proponents: Religious Protections a "Big Lie"

The coalition to protect marriage in Minnesota is making the point that the religious protections being offered are not enough -- redefining marriage always threatens religious freedom:

Jefferson MemorialSame-sex marriage opponents warned Minnesotans that religious liberty will not be protected if the Legislators legalize gay marriage this year.

“In New York, we were promised that the religious freedom amendment to our same-sex marriage legislation would do the job,” said the Rev. Jason McGuire, president of New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation. “Our legislators bought the lie and today every New Yorker is living the lie.”

Minnesota for Marriage brought several town officials from New York, where same-sex marriage is legal, who argue they had to resign rather than be forced to process marriage licenses for gay and lesbian couples even though it was against their religious beliefs. The group says the religious protections in the Minnesota proposal are completely inadequate, leaving business owners and religious groups wide open to lawsuits if they fail to embrace same-sex marriage.

Minnesota for Marriage held the news conference as legislators are weighing a proposal to legalize same-sex marriage this year. Dozens of supporters stuffed into the small conference room, many holding signs that read: “Don’t erase moms and dads from MN public policy.” (Star Tribune)

Please continue to contact your lawmakers.

School Cancels Santorum Speech Over Marriage Views

The new "tolerance" -- simply blocking pro-marriage figures from sharing their views on any topic:

A Michigan high school canceled a speech by former Sen. Rick Santorum after teachers became outraged over his opposition to gay marriage and threatened to stage protests and a possible work stoppage.

Santorum had been invited to deliver a upcoming speech on leadership by the Young Americans for Freedom chapter at Gross Pointe South High School. But the speech was canceled on Monday after the school district’s superintendent heard from angry teachers.

“It’s a sad day when liberal educators are allowed to influence young minds – extending free speech rights only to those who share their liberal views,” Santorum said in a statement posted on Patriot Voices. “This has nothing to do with the content of a speech, but rather the context of my convictions.” (FoxNews Nation)

VICTORY: University Settles with Christian Julea Ward After Court Rules "Tolerance is a Two-Way Street"

Excellent news from the Alliance Defending Freedom:

Eastern Michigan University has agreed to settle an Alliance Defending Freedom lawsuit filed on behalf of Julea Ward, a graduate student whom the university expelled from a counseling program for abiding by her religious beliefs. As a result, a federal district court issued an agreed-upon order of dismissal Monday. 

Even though counseling referrals are a common and accepted professional practice, the university expelled Ward when she sought to avoid violating her religious beliefs by referring a potential client to another counselor. In January, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled in her favor.

“Public universities shouldn’t force students to violate their religious beliefs to get a degree. The 6th Circuit rightly understood this and ruled appropriately, so the university has done the right thing in settling this case,” said Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco, who argued before the court in October of last year. “When Julea sought to refer a potential client to another qualified counselor--a common, professional practice that is endorsed by her profession’s code of ethics--EMU denied the referral. Then it attacked and questioned her religious beliefs, ultimately expelling her from the program. We are pleased that Julea and her constitutionally protected rights have been vindicated.”

Visit our Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance page to learn more about citizens who have experienced discrimination and harassment for their pro-marriage views.

Debating Same-Sex Marriage at Wayne State University

This event is being held by The Center for the Study of Citizenship at Wayne Universities. All inquiries about this event may be made by contacting them directly via their website.

4-in-10 Independent Michiganders Less Likely to Vote for Obama After SSM Announcement

Michigan is considered a state in play this November in the Presidential race. Obama's support of same-sex marriage isn't doing him any favors there among Independent voters:

President Barack Obama's support of gay marriage has not translated into more backing from Michigan voters overall, a new poll shows, and four in 10 self-described independents say they are less likely to vote for him because of it.

"The fact that only 17 percent of polled independent voters were supportive of the President's stance on gay marriage - and that 41 percent indicated they were less likely to vote for him as a result - may be some cause for concern with this crucial group," said Jeff Lambert, president and managing partner of public relations firm Lambert, Edwards & Associates. -- MLive

Michigan House Passes "Julea Ward" Bill to Prohibit Religious Discrimination

We've reported on Julea Ward's story in the past. Now, state legislators in Michigan are doing something to help her situation and to help others who face discrimination over their pro-marriage views:

The Michigan House has passed a bill meant to prohibit religious discrimination against college students who study counseling, social work, and psychology.

The bill was prompted after student Julea Ward was kicked out of a counseling program at Eastern Michigan University for refusing to counsel a gay student, saying it conflicted with her Christian beliefs.  Bill 5040, known as the, "Julea Ward Freedom of Conscience Act," passed 59-to-50 Wednesday.  It now heads to the Senate for consideration. -- WHTC

"Daniel Glowacki Speaks Up About Howell High Incident in Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance Video"

Livingston Daily:

A Howell High School student and his mother recount a high-profile October 2010 classroom incident in a video published Wednesday on the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance website, www.marriageada.org.

"There was Mr. (Jay) McDowell on the news saying that (Daniel Glowacki) came into the classroom spewing homophobic and racial slurs," said Sandra Glowacki, mother of Howell student Daniel Glowacki, in the video published on the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance's Web site.

"And I'm listening, and I'm like, 'That's not what happened,' " she continued.

"He just kept going," she added, beginning to cry.

The New Target: Our Children — Silenced in the Classroom

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"He said we lost our right to free speech when we walked into that classroom."


Dear Marriage Supporter,

He's 14 years old and goes to Church with his parents.

And he was recently kicked out of class and threatened with suspension by his teacher. What did he do wrong?

He disagreed with his economics teacher over the morality of homosexual conduct.

THAT'S IT!

Listen to Daniel Glowacki tell his story in his own words.

 

Entering his economics classroom, Daniel asked a question of the teacher: Why did a fellow student have to take off her Confederate belt buckle to enter the class, but the students had to listen to the teacher's own political activism?

For that, he was thrown out of class.

But that was just the beginning.

You have to watch this video to believe it.

As he left class, the teacher called him a racist and a bigot and told him that he was going to have Daniel suspended for bullying and harassment against homosexuals!

That began a campaign against Daniel...facebook, email, radio and television appearances...all decrying this 14-year-old boy as a bigot and a hater.

My friend, is this what society has come to?

We started the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance to shed light on the deplorable behavior of the radical same-sex marriage advocates who are running roughshod over the freedoms and religious liberties of Americans all across the country.

Please go to marriageada.org and watch this video. You and I need to be informed and we need to stand up to the bullies who are trying to tell us that we are second-class citizens for believing that marriage is between a man and a woman because children need a mother and a father.

New PPP Poll: Santorum Leads Romney in Michigan 39%-24%

Michigan and Arizona are the next states to hold Republican primaries. PPP conducted polling in Michigan today (full results here):

Rick Santorum's taken a large lead in Michigan's upcoming Republican primary. He's at 39% to 24% for Mitt Romney, 12% for Ron Paul, and 11% for Newt Gingrich.

Santorum's rise is attributable to two major factors: his own personal popularity (a stellar 67/23 favorability) and GOP voters increasingly souring on Gingrich.  Santorum's becoming something closer and closer to a consensus conservative candidate as Gingrich bleeds support.

An interesting data point -- Democrats and Independents are supporting Santorum as well:

Santorum's benefiting from the open nature of Michigan's primary as well. He's only up by 12 points with actual Republican voters, but he has a 40-21 advantage with the Democrats and independents planning to vote that pushes his overall lead up to 15 points.

ADF on EMU Counseling Student: "Tolerance Is a Two-Way Street"

Jeremy Tedesco, Alliance Defense Fund legal counsel for Andrea Ward (more about her story here), writes in the Detroit Free Press:

"Tolerance is a two-way street."

These five simple, yet profound, words come from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit's recent opinion in a case involving Eastern Michigan University's expulsion of Julea Ward from its graduate counseling program. It is difficult to conceive of five words that more aptly sum up the lesson of this case -- a lesson all public universities and professional associations should heed.

The opinion reverses an earlier ruling and remands the case to district court for a jury trial.

EMU says it supports, indeed requires, tolerance and nondiscrimination. But when it came to Ward's religiously based need to refer a client, Eastern practiced anything but.