Supreme Court Decision Presses Gay Marriage Issue for State Legislators

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

While many across the country are celebrating, State Representative Sam Singh is buckling down.

"We have a lot of work to do, here, in Michigan," he said.

On Monday, Singh, along with two other state reps, introduced a package of bills that could overturn Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage.

Even though the Supreme Court's rulings allow that ban to stand, Singh is taking the decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act as a positive for his legislation.

"The striking down of DOMA is going to have a ripple effect," said Singh (D - East Lansing). "I think, we already have 57 percent of Michiganders who support marriage equality. Let's give the people that live in our state the same rights and benefits."

However, while Singh sees the rulings as a win, those who don't agree with same-sex marriage don't necessarily see it as a loss.

Following the ruling, Attorney General Bill Schuette issued a statement saying he was pleased with the Supreme Court's decision to allow states to define marriage, not the federal government. Adding, "Michigan's constitution stands and the will of the people to define marriage as between one man and one woman endures in the Great Lakes State."

Representative Mike Shirkey agrees with Schuette, but also says the fight against same-sex marriage now takes top priority.

"We now have to double down on our efforts to defend what we define and what we believe marriage is," said Shirkey (R - Clarklake). "I know that voters resoundedly defeated it the last time it was up and I believe they will again."

Before any vote, the discussion has to start in the legislature.

"My hope is in the Fall, we'll have some more conversations as people get back into session and see where it goes," said Singh.

Singh hopes to have a vote on the legislation either in 2014 or 2016.

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