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Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice
March 21, 2014 2:23 PM   Subscribe

A federal judge has overturned Michigan's ban on same sex marriage and adoption. (pdf). There is no stay in the ruling.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (82 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Go Michigan!
posted by GallonOfAlan at 2:25 PM on March 21


Oh, dominoes!
posted by scody at 2:27 PM on March 21 [3 favorites]


Romeo and Romeo!
posted by umbú at 2:36 PM on March 21 [3 favorites]


WOOO! :D
posted by zarq at 2:40 PM on March 21


WOO!
posted by rebent at 2:41 PM on March 21


Woot! Go Michigan!
posted by bunderful at 2:45 PM on March 21


Also, I'm SO DAMNED glad the plaintiff's lawyers brought in a law professor to testify that children of same sex marriages in Michigan are being left in legal limbo if their only legal guardian becomes ill or incapacitated. The MMA actually puts those kids in a really precarious position -- and considering that its proponents kept trying to claim that the law was in place to protect children from the (non-existent) horrors of same-sex marriage, it was kinda awesome to see that tactic used against them. It wasn't a minor issue, either. From the PDF:
"...demographer Gary Gates testified that currently there are approximately 14,598 same-sex couples living in Michigan and that approximately 2,650 such couples are raising 5,300 children."

posted by zarq at 2:46 PM on March 21 [26 favorites]


Yes!
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:48 PM on March 21


Fred Phelps died and the next day a state gets marriage equality. He should die more often.
posted by munchingzombie at 2:48 PM on March 21 [66 favorites]


As the husband of a proud Wolverine, I say Go Blue!
posted by jonmc at 2:49 PM on March 21 [2 favorites]


Awesome. Isn't there a same sex marriage-related Supreme Court decision coming soon?
posted by drezdn at 2:51 PM on March 21


I am now finally willing to forgive the State of Michigan for the lack of tasty Thai restaurants in the Ann Arbor area during the 2001-2004 period.
posted by Area Man at 2:53 PM on March 21 [11 favorites]


Hey, Indiana! Hear that? That's the 21st century sneaking up on you!
posted by Thorzdad at 2:56 PM on March 21 [13 favorites]


Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has filed an appeal and an emergency request for a stay...
I just know I'm not pronouncing that guy's name right...
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:06 PM on March 21 [7 favorites]


pronouncing that guy's name right...
posted by axiom at 3:10 PM on March 21 [2 favorites]


I can finally adopt that gay couple I've had my eyes on!
posted by Panjandrum at 3:11 PM on March 21 [23 favorites]


Kirth Gerson: " I just know I'm not pronouncing that guy's name right..."

C'est Schuette!
posted by tonycpsu at 3:14 PM on March 21 [5 favorites]


The Religious Right's Failed Gay-Marriage Backlash (The Atlantic)
In states like Arizona, social conservatives hoped to push back against the rising gay-rights tide, but lawmakers and the public sided against them.

SCOTSBlog - Special Feature: Same-Sex Marriage
posted by filthy light thief at 3:17 PM on March 21 [2 favorites]


So... how many is that now?

When can we call a quorum?
posted by PROD_TPSL at 3:18 PM on March 21


You can read the full opinion here without having to open a PDF.

The final paragraph of the decision:
From the District Court opinion by Judge Bernard A. Friedman: "In attempting to define this case as a challenge to “the will of the people,” Tr. 2/25/14 p.40, state defendants lost sight of what this case is truly about: people. No court record of this proceeding could ever fully convey the personal sacrifice of these two plaintiffs who seek to ensure that the state may no longer impair the rights of their children and the thousands of others now being raised by same-sex couples. It is the Court’s fervent hope that these children will grow up “to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives.” Windsor, 133 S. Ct. at 2694. Today’s decision is a step in that direction, and affirms the enduring principle that regardless of whoever finds favor in the eyes of the most recent majority, the guarantee of equal protection must prevail."
posted by John Cohen at 3:33 PM on March 21 [11 favorites]


I found out about this via two Michigander friends announcing their engagement on Facebook, which yaaaaaaaaay
posted by Sara C. at 3:36 PM on March 21 [15 favorites]


Quoting from the ruling via a friend on fb who quoted it first:
"The optimal child-rearing justification for the MMA is belied by the state’s own marriage requirements. The prerequisites for obtaining a marriage license under Michigan law do not include the ability to have children, a requirement to raise them in any particular family structure, or the prospect of achieving certain 'outcomes' for children. By the same token, the state does not allow for the annulment of a marriage once a couple discovers it cannot conceive, or if the family structure changes, or if the couple’s children do poorly in school."
The court found the testimony of one expert witness called by the state defendants "entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration" and "was unable to accord the testimony of Marks, Price, and Allen [other expert witnesses for the defendants] any significant weight."
posted by rtha at 3:42 PM on March 21 [17 favorites]


Gov Walker must be sweating bullets, he's surrounded now 3/4 by choice
posted by edgeways at 3:52 PM on March 21 [2 favorites]


Ingham County [where Lansing, the capital of Michigan, is located] Clerk Barb Byrum said today she will begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples at 8 a.m. Monday "if it is still legal."
posted by dhens at 3:57 PM on March 21


"Today’s decision is a step in that direction, and affirms the enduring principle that regardless of whoever finds favor in the eyes of the most recent majority, the guarantee of equal protection must prevail."

Goddamn, yes.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:58 PM on March 21 [5 favorites]


Bill Schuette (SHOO-dee) is shoring up his Tea Party run at Governor (Snyder is term-limited) or Senate against Stabenow, each in 2018. Nakedly political.
posted by Etrigan at 3:58 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


The best part of it is the smackdown of the bogus "study" by Mark Regnerus:
The Court finds Regnerus’s testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration. The evidence adduced at trial demonstrated that his 2012 “study” was hastily concocted at the behest of a third-party funder, which found it “essential that the necessary data be gathered to settle the question in the forum of public debate about what kinds of family arrangement are best for society” and which “was confident that the traditional understanding of marriage will be vindicated by this study.” ... While Regnerus maintained that the funding source did not affect his impartiality as a researcher, the Court finds this testimony unbelievable. The funder clearly wanted a certain result, and Regnerus obliged. Additionally, the NFSS is flawed on its face, as it purported to study “a large, random sample of American young adults (ages 18-39) who were raised indifferent types of family arrangements” (emphasis added), but in fact it did not study this at all, as Regnerus equated being raised by a same-sex couple with having ever lived with a parent who had a “romantic relationship with someone of the same sex” for any length of time. Whatever Regnerus may have found in this “study,” he certainly cannot purport to have undertaken a scholarly research effort to compare the outcomes of children raised by same-sex couples with those of children raised by heterosexual couples. It is no wonder that the NFSS has been widely and severely criticized by other scholars, and that Regnerus’s own sociology department at the University of Texas has distanced itself from the NFSS in particular and Dr. Regnerus’s views ing eneral and reaffirmed the aforementioned APA position statement."
posted by dnash at 4:04 PM on March 21 [25 favorites]


This is great!

I don't have time to read the ruling right now but I'm hoping it follows the example of other similar rulings and has a Scalia quote Easter egg hidden in there somewhere.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 4:05 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


Romeo and Romeo!

Warren and Troy?
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 4:06 PM on March 21 [8 favorites]


Hairy Lobster, the Easter egg is even more stealth in this one:

As discussed above, the Court’s decision in Windsor does not answer the question presented here, but its reasoning is nevertheless highly relevant and is therefore a significant doctrinal development. Importantly, the Windsor Court foresaw that its ruling would precede a number of lawsuits in state and lower federal courts raising the question of a state’s ability to prohibit same-sex marriage, a fact that was noted by two dissenting justices.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:06 PM on March 21 [2 favorites]


The federal judge has totally blown Fred Phelps' bracket. Good.

I have many relatives in Michigan. Looks like the mitten's giving the thumbs-up right now. I'm thrilled.

Romeo and Romeo!

Warren and Troy?


Roger and Me?
posted by ilana at 4:12 PM on March 21 [3 favorites]


Gov Walker must be sweating bullets, he's surrounded now 3/4 by choice

If that choice arose from democracy, rather than the judiciary, that might be true.
posted by jpe at 4:16 PM on March 21


I KNEW IT!

Thanks roomthreeseventeen!!!
posted by Hairy Lobster at 4:16 PM on March 21


This would make 5 out of 7 places I have lived have legal gay marriage.

Since one of those is Arizona, by the time I hit 7 out of 7 I think things will be looking pretty good. :)
posted by kyrademon at 4:17 PM on March 21


Roger and Me?

Wall-E and Steve.
posted by cortex at 4:18 PM on March 21


If that choice arose from democracy, rather than the judiciary, that might be true.

Think of it this way: the judiciary is saying that the democracy does not get to dictate who gets which civil rights, but that civil rights belong rightfully to all.
posted by Existential Dread at 4:19 PM on March 21 [27 favorites]


If that choice arose from democracy, rather than the judiciary, that might be true.

The last I checked, the judiciary was part of the democracy.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:19 PM on March 21 [5 favorites]


No, the judiciary isn't democratic. The judiciary can protect minority rights from the majority.

We need to stop equating "democracy" with "all that is good." The majority should not always rule. If the majority always rules, then the majority can trample over the minority. That's bad. That's why there are constitutional rights, which are nondemocratic.
posted by John Cohen at 4:28 PM on March 21 [26 favorites]


I think jpe means voters, as in numbers of supporters.
posted by perhapses at 4:29 PM on March 21


i'm going to say something very stale, but it needs saying - we (u s) have a republic, not a democracy

and yes, the judiciary is part of our republic
posted by pyramid termite at 4:36 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


Footage of the plaintiffs reading the ruling with their lawyer.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:39 PM on March 21 [5 favorites]


"If you ask me, the light's winning."
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:44 PM on March 21 [5 favorites]


So damn proud of my home state. OK, it's been nearly 20 years since I moved away, but I'm hoping for a wedding invitation or two to draw me back for a visit very soon!

On the other hand, kind of disgusted to see Bill Schuette is still blighting Michigan politics.
posted by skybluepink at 5:02 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


Yay Michigan!
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:40 PM on March 21


Goddamnit, Wisconsin, we're surrounded now. Let's just get this over with.
posted by desjardins at 5:49 PM on March 21 [2 favorites]


So this is what, number 18? Congrats, Michigan!
posted by easily confused at 6:28 PM on March 21


Interesting to think of the end game here. Some people are saying that given the consensus among lower courts, it won't even go to the Supreme Court but I disagree. Recognizing a new right (or however you want to phrase it) is too important for them not to rule on, even if there is no split in the lower courts. I would bet on them taking the Utah case since, unlike a lot of other states, they really are fighting the challenge and they are paying expensive and experienced Supreme Court lawyers to do it.

Depending on the speed of the appeals, that means a ruling by SCOTUS either next year or the year after. Controversial opinions almost always come out at the end of the court's term in June, so this could be a campaign issue if it's June 2016.

Oh and I have no doubt that when SCOTUS rules, they will give us nationwide same sex marriage. The only question in my mind is whether Roberts will vote for it. He might.
posted by Xalf at 6:44 PM on March 21 [2 favorites]


I came into this thread to make sure someone had pointed out the Regnerus smackdown. Because to hell with that bullshit-peddling fraud.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:34 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


Just got back from dinner out in Ann Arbor. Unusually crowded for a Friday (well, it's usually crowded, but tonight was more so). I'm going to assume everyone was celebrating!
posted by nat at 7:43 PM on March 21 [2 favorites]


@Xalf: this is all certainly very exciting, and immensely interesting not only from a civil rights perspective, but for anyone who's a SCOTUS watcher. I almost can't wait for the majority opinion, although the potential failure of a SSM majority makes me nervous.

I also can't help but wonder how much of a fan Chief Justice Roberts might be of Pope Francis. Will that inform his opinion? Although the Catholic definition of marriage won't change in our lifetimes, it's more possible than ever that a strongly Catholic Justice might help change the civil definition.
posted by sbutler at 7:45 PM on March 21


I believe this calls for the traditional form of celebration in Ann Arbor, hauling a couch into the middle of the street and setting fire to it.
posted by kiltedtaco at 7:56 PM on March 21 [7 favorites]


Might need an Ann Arbor meet-up to celebrate... my FB feed is full of friends announcing wedding plans :-) Pretty amazing. Wish Schuette would climb back under his rock and skip the time-wasting appeal but he's got ambitions and wants to appeal to the hard right so here we go again.
posted by leslies at 8:16 PM on March 21 [3 favorites]


In a nice twist, one of the judges in Ann Arbor who, come tomorrow morning, will be issuing marriage licenses is the first openly gay judge in Michigan. :)
posted by BillW at 8:16 PM on March 21 [3 favorites]


Est mirabilis peninsula!

Et si Snyder fraudulentus nerdus est gubernator.
posted by adoarns at 9:00 PM on March 21


Hooray! Congratulations Michigan!
posted by SisterHavana at 9:29 PM on March 21


\o/
posted by Sophie1 at 9:38 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


Hey, Indiana! Hear that? That's the 21st century sneaking up on you!

Hey now, Indiana managed not to put an anti-gay-marriage amendment in its state constitution, which is downright progressive by Hoosier standards.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:56 AM on March 22 [2 favorites]


Washtenaw County Clerk's Office opens doors Saturday to issue marriage licenses to gay couples
posted by kiltedtaco at 5:46 AM on March 22


This is what marriage equality looks like in Michigan! Congratulations, ladies.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:52 AM on March 22 [1 favorite]


_______________/|||||||||||||||||||||
posted by I Havent Killed Anybody Since 1984 at 7:12 AM on March 22 [13 favorites]


Romeo and Romeo!

Warren and Troy?


Troy and Warren in the Chapel! </Abed>
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 8:42 AM on March 22


\o/
posted by PROD_TPSL at 9:24 AM on March 22


As the husband of a proud Wolverine, I say Go Blue!
posted by jonmc


The Republicans were right. Homosexual marriage has led to bestiality.
posted by ColdChef at 11:45 AM on March 22 [7 favorites]


I also have a sneaking suspicion that Roberts will side with the (finding same sex marriage legal) majority on this one. Not that it will really matter one way or the other if there are enough votes, but I wonder if he'll (a) be concerned enough about his, and the Court's, legacy and perception that he'll move to the winning side and (b) want to author the opinion himself, perhaps motivated by similar reasoning--if he has control over the opinion he can at least do his best to make himself and the Court look as good as they're going to look under the circumstances.

I don't see any way this doesn't get to the Supreme Court given that there will be appellate decisions in the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 10th circuits. What's also interesting to me is what happens in the circuits--will there actually be a split? The Michigan case is significant because it's a decision resting both on findings of fact and legal conclusions, which would typically make it harder for an appellate court to reverse than a decision based solely on matters of law and not fact. It would take a truly, truly despicable Sixth Circuit ruling to reverse, one would think.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:04 PM on March 22 [1 favorite]


Washtenaw County Clerk Larry Kestenbaum commented:

"Today, we issued 74 marriage licenses before closing time at 1pm. Congratulations to each and every one!

I expect we will resume on Monday. I think Judge Friedman's ruling is going to remain in effect indefinitely. I don't think the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals (which refused to stay the similar ruling in the Tennessee case), or Justice Elena Kagan (our Circuit Justice), are going to issue a stay."

I hope he is correct!
posted by leslies at 12:40 PM on March 22 [1 favorite]


I believe this calls for the traditional form of celebration in Ann Arbor, hauling a couch into the middle of the street and setting fire to it.

Excuse me, but I believe you are referring to those nice young sports enthusiasts up in East Lansing.

Ahem: Go Blue, go Tigers, fuck Snyder, fuck Schuette, and hail to the victors (in this case all those in favor of marraige equality).
posted by Existential Dread at 1:05 PM on March 22


And according to Michigan Radio: "The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will not issue a stay this weekend on the decision to strike down Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage, and weddings will be allowed to continue until at least noon Tuesday. That's the deadline for the plaintiffs to respond to Attorney General Bill Schuette's request for a stay."
posted by leslies at 1:37 PM on March 22


Yes, we should absolutely hold celebratory mefi meetups wherever and whenever gay marriage gets legalized.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:11 PM on March 22 [2 favorites]


And now a temporary stay - hours after dozens of couples have gotten married. Interesting timing.
posted by leslies at 2:20 PM on March 22


\o/
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:21 PM on March 22


\o/
posted by ChrisR at 2:40 PM on March 22


Very strange to have a temporary stay. Also, someone correct me if I'm wrong, but there's a state ahead of them in the Sixth Circuit, right?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:41 PM on March 22


Oh, wait.

/º\

That's disappointing.
posted by ChrisR at 2:52 PM on March 22


Also, someone correct me if I'm wrong, but there's a state ahead of them in the Sixth Circuit, right?

I don't think so--Sixth Circuit is Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and Michigan. There are other marriage equality issues that have come up in courts of those states (although I do not know offhand if all were in federal district courts or if some were in state courts) concerning things like recognizing marriages validly performed in states that permit them, but none of those states have had district courts issue an opinion legalizing same sex marriage. Michigan is the first.
posted by MoonOrb at 3:26 PM on March 22


Metafilter: He should die more often.
posted by Munching Langolier at 8:40 PM on March 22


Poor Larry, I was talking to him on FB and there's no communication officer for the county, so it was just him trying to talk to everyone who put in a media request. If I was still a journo, I'd have picked his brain more (I think there's a good feature in it), but mostly I was surprised by how little support he has. When we got marriage, every official even tangentially involved had pre-drafted statements for every eventuality. Poor Larry was having to cobble things together post hoc.
posted by klangklangston at 12:36 PM on March 23


Okay, now I'm confused:
The temp stay took effect Saturday, or will take effect noon Tuesday?
And what's the status of the folks who got married Saturday morning --- married or in limbo pending final rulings?
posted by easily confused at 12:51 PM on March 23


The stay took effect on Saturday, but no one is sure about the status of the marriages that were licensed before that.
posted by Etrigan at 1:02 PM on March 23


The dominoes continue to fall, as Kissinger is proved to be correct (just the wrong context).
posted by Mental Wimp at 6:04 PM on March 23


A spokesperson for the Governor's office says they will not recognize the marriages until the stay is lifted so all the people who got married yesterday are in limbo.
posted by leslies at 6:53 PM on March 23


Oh and I have no doubt that when SCOTUS rules, they will give us nationwide same sex marriage. The only question in my mind is whether Roberts will vote for it. He might.

I think he will. He clearly has a keen sense of his own legacy and he won't want to be on the wrong side of history in such a reputation destroying way.
posted by atrazine at 7:00 AM on March 24 [1 favorite]


Mississippi Passed Its Anti-Gay Segregation Bill. Will It Be Struck Down?
posted by homunculus at 8:41 PM on April 2


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