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Gay Marriage Laws in Minnesota

Minnesota Gay Marriage

Although almost half of Michigan's residents support the idea of allowing full marital rights and benefits for Michigan gay, lesbian, and transgender couples, Michigan marriage unions between same-sex relationships are still heavily banned within the state of Michigan. Gay partnerships were dealt a very disappointing verdict in 2004, when nearly 60% of voters approved the Michigan State Proposal- 04-02, which legally prohibits same-sex Michigan marriages and civil unions, as well as domestic partnership benefits.

Although the Michigan gay community and Michigan gay marriage supporters are persistently lobbying for this ban to be lifted, or, at least, for limited homosexual partnership rights, the conservative politics of the state are awfully strong in their belief that Michigan marriage unions are intended for heterosexual couples only. It was only in 2003, after all, that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Michigan's sodomy laws, which criminalized same-sex sexual acts in general.

Progress towards equal rights is slow, but surely, on the horizon. On June 13, 2009, during a gay and lesbian rights rally, Democrat Pam Byrnes, Michigan's House Speaker, said that she had brought forth certain measures that would help in the eventual change of the current Michigan marriage laws. "I think we definitely see a change in attitude and it’s time to revisit this,” she said.

The "measures" Byrne was referring to was the following set of bills:

A repeal of of the Constitutional amendment, which will require a two-thirds vote of both chambers of the legislature

A bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Michigan

A bill to remove state law restrictions which prevent Michigan from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in another state

Although the proposal does indeed show that there is some effort being made to change the current Michigan marriage laws, a two-thirds majority in the Republican-controlled Senate proves to be a very serious setback in bringing these measures to voters.

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