A Supreme Court Ruling on Gay Marriage Could Mean Change In Michigan

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LANSING (WILX)--If the Supreme Court makes a ruling on California's Proposition 8 it could potentially mean a change here in Michigan.

The states ban on same sex marriages could be overruled by a broad decision. One Lansing couple is hoping for just that, so they will be recognized one day soon.

"10 years ago it was a pipe dream. Now it's a reality. It's not a question of if, but of how many years," said Chris Swope.

Swope wears a wedding band, but his marriage isn't recognized in the state.

"My husband and I got married in Canada in 2004. We could literally see Detroit from where we said our vows. It was bittersweet," said Swope.

He holds out hope that a Supreme Court decision on California's marriage law could mean change for Michigan.

"The Supreme Court could make a broad decision or a narrow decision. A narrow decision would not make an impact but a broad one could impact what's happening here," said Swope.

It's possible, but a long shot.

"It doesn't directly effect Michigan. Michigan does have a constitutional ban on gay marriage that was enacted in 2004. So, it could be a decision that could give guidance to the Michigan legislature, but we just don't know," said Cooley Law School Associate Director James Robb.

If it doesn't happen now, other's are positive it won't take much longer for same sex marriage to be recognized nationally.

"We're at a pivotal moment nationally. Politically and culturally we are changing in our discussions of marriage and of the rights of all people. It's not just about marriage but taxes and a variety of legal protections that are afforded under the law of marriage," said gay rights activist Allegra Smith.

For Swope, he just wants to be able to enjoy the right's and responsibilities that come with being a married couple.

"We want to participate in that. The marriage vows strengthen it even more," said Swope.

Wednesday the Supreme Court will hear a similar case, one that could potentially decide if the federal government would recognize same sex marriage in the states that allow it.

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  • by Anonymous on Apr 9, 2013 at 04:06 AM
    What about the kids who are denied a mother or a father when gay couple adopt?
  • by Dan Location: DeWitt on Apr 4, 2013 at 03:43 AM
    As the first comment stated, I have a hard time swallowing how people can deny rights to others when it does not infringe on their rights at all. We as citizens need to stop the government from telling us what we can and cannot do in the course of our personal lives, and we should be fighting for those rights, not against them. For those that want to oppose gay marriage, that's fine... That's your right as defined in the First Amendment. Why is it okay to apply some Amendments to a portion of the population but not others? As a conservative it sickens me to see liberal hypocrisy practiced and accepted every day in our society. It disgusts me even more to see conservatives, who claim to champion small government and individual liberty, look to it to remove rights from others...
  • by Name Location: Location on Apr 2, 2013 at 04:42 PM
    So what does all of that have to do with changing the law for a very small fringe group. I give you a couple of reasons not to, as well many heterolsexual couples live and share an household without being married. I'm not sure what eating shellfish has to do with anything, unless you're suggesting marriage? Maybe Patrick Star is available!?!?!?
  • by Name Location: Location on Apr 2, 2013 at 05:25 AM
    First of all, not all religions in the entire world are against gay marriage (that's just your small-mindedness showing). Secondly, if the Abrahamic traditions can evolve from the past when it was OK to own slaves and women were forced to marry their rapists or be killed, I think that they'll be fine evolving past this as well. Not to mention that I think it's hilarious people use Leviticus as a way to show that homosexuality is wrong, but they like to ignore the other parts of Leviticus that say you can't eat shellfish, you can't get tattoos, you can't cut your beard or your hair, menstruating women aren't allowed in the church building, etc. Either you follow all of the proscriptions in that book because they're all equally valid, or you don't because they're not.
  • by Name Location: Location on Apr 2, 2013 at 04:23 AM
    No Gary, I'm not anti-freedom. If you and Sponge Bob want to live in your little pineapple together? I don't have a problem with that. But why do we need to change laws for a few individuals that want gain their lovers monetary benifits. As stated before, if you want to start down that slippery slope, can we be "Free" to marry whom ever or what ever we want? Just asking how free you want to be?
  • by Gary Location: Lansing on Apr 1, 2013 at 05:47 PM
    you go read your Bible, and stop being anti-freedom.
  • by Jim on Apr 1, 2013 at 10:59 AM
    Hey there... quit being mean to dogs!
  • by Name Location: Location on Apr 1, 2013 at 09:25 AM
    "because they're backwards, ignorant, and bigoted." If my history serves me right, sense the start of time marriage has been between a man and women. Reproduction happens with a male and female. Every religion on earth recognizes the relationship of a man and women. Now a fringe minority group wants to change it all to gain a few monetary benifits and spit in the face of religion. Yup, I'm backwards!?!?!?
  • by Name Location: Location on Mar 29, 2013 at 09:35 AM
    What is wrong with you? Why in the world are you comparing humans to animals? I mean, I feel really bad that I have eo explain this to you but, you know that animals can't enter into contracts right? They aren't legal entities under the law. Good lord, why do I have to explain this to someone? This is why the conservatives are losing members, because they're backwards, ignorant, and bigoted.
  • by Name Location: Location on Mar 29, 2013 at 03:59 AM
    Are you saying that gay people are animals? Maybe, but if my dog is my best friend and I want Fido to have the same benifits as me, or leave my inheritence to him. Why can't I marry him? I don't hate any marriage, sounds like you do!?!?!?
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