e-mail me at billdeg@umich.edu


gay marriage trial in Michigan

Sadly, a coalition of Christian ministers continues to lobby against gay marriage in Michigan, appealing to the African-American community by framing the matter as a voter suppression issue. In 2004 voters struck down a marriage equality constitutional amendment. Now a lesbian couple's lawsuit against the state has finally come to trial in federal court in Detroit; they're suing for the right to adopt each other's kids in a case whose decision could affect the state's public policy regarding both adoption rights and gay marriage rights.

One of the interesting pieces of the puzzle has been the state's defense of its discriminatory policy. Here is a link to a brief the state's attorney general filed explaining that it's in the state's best interest to continue defining marriage as being between a man and a woman because the state has an interest in protecting procreation and the state has a prerogative to regulate sexual relations. Please keep in mind that the attorney general campaigned for office with support of the tea party based on "small government" ideology. And he thinks the state should be in the business of regulating sexual relationships. More alarming, perhaps, is the odd claim that the state benefits more from marriages that involve procreation.

My marriage has produced no children. My wife and I own a home, pay lots of taxes (happily) that support one of the best school districts in the state of Michigan, and don't have any kids that use the aforementioned resources. Isn't the state making out pretty good on the deal? I would make the argument that the state benefits quite a bit from my marriage--especially from that monetary perspective. This is just anecdotal, but if it weren't for my marriage, I probably wouldn't own a home--and definitely wouldn't own the home that I *do* own.