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Category Archives: Michigan

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.

[...]

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.

Detroit FreeP: EMU Counseling Student Wins OK to Sue

The Detroit Free Press on Julea Ward's victory at the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals:

An Eastern Michigan University student who was expelled from a counseling program because she refused to counsel gays and lesbians about their lifestyles won a key victory today in the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

A three-member panel of the court said Julea Ward can argue her religious discrimination suit against the university before a federal court jury in Detroit.

... “Although the university submits it dismissed Ward from the program because her request for a referral violated the ACA (American Counseling Association) code of ethics, a reasonable jury could find otherwise — that the code of ethics contains no such bar and that the university deployed it as a pretext for punishing Ward’s religious views and speech.”

... Although Ward refused to counsel gays and lesbians about their sexual orientation, she said she was willing to counsel them on other issues.

Breaking News: Major Victory for Julea Ward!!

We've been following Julea Ward's story since last March, and today we're thrilled to report that the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has found in her favor, as David French at NRO reports:

So far, 2012 has been a good year for religious liberty in federal court. Two weeks ago the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that religious organizations have a First Amendment right to choose their ministers — even in the face of federal nondiscrimination policies. Today, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a trial-court ruling that essentially allowed Eastern Michigan University to erect a “no Christians allowed” sign outside its graduate counseling program.

... The trial court had essentially ruled that the university could do whatever it wanted with its curriculum, and if it wanted to mandate that Christian students affirm homosexuality while granting referrals and exemptions to other students on other issues, it could. The Sixth Circuit disagreed, strongly:

A reasonable jury could find that the university dismissed Ward from its counseling program because of her faith-based speech, not because of any legitimate pedagogical objective. A university cannot compel a student to alter or violate her belief systems based on a phantom policy as the price for obtaining a degree.

The stakes of this case were very high. If the university had prevailed, students would truly have been at the mercy of ad hoc ideological demands reformulated as “curricular requirements.” Understanding the stakes for individual liberty, theMichigan attorney general, the American Center for Law and Justice (where I’m a senior counsel), the Becket Fund, Eugene Volokh, and others submitted amicus briefs on Ward’s behalf. They were opposed by, among others, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, LAMBDA Legal, and the ACLU.

You can read the Sixth Circuit opinion here (PDF).

Same-Sex Michigan Couple Sue Over Adoption Ban for Unmarried Couples

The Associated Press:

Two lesbians who are raising three children filed a lawsuit Monday to overturn Michigan's ban on adoption by unmarried couples.

April DeBoer, with two adopted children, and Jayne Rowse, with one, are longtime partners and nurses who live together with the kids in suburban Detroit. But under state law, they can't adopt them as a couple, an option available only to heterosexual married couples.

... The lawsuit names Gov. Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette as defendants.

"We have not seen the suit yet, but our job is to enforce and defend all laws as enacted by the Legislature," Schuette spokesman John Sellek said. "Any changes to a law would have to originate in the Legislature."