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City Commissioners Send Message to State to Drop Gay Marriage Appeal

Mayor Jim Ellison says resolutions like the one approved by the Royal Oak City Commission send a strong message to Gov. Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette to drop their appeal.

A majority of Royal Oak City Commissioners supported a resolution urging the state to drop its appeal of the gay marriage ruling. (Patch file photo)
A majority of Royal Oak City Commissioners supported a resolution urging the state to drop its appeal of the gay marriage ruling. (Patch file photo)

A majority of the members of the Royal Oak City Commission want Gov. Rick Snyder Attorney General Bill Schuette to drop the state’s appeal of U.S. District Court Judge Bernard Friedman’s ruling last month that a voter-backed ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

City Commissioner Jeremy Mahrle said dropping the appeal would be consistent with action taken by officials who dropped appeals of court rulings overturning gay marriage bans in Oregon, Nevada, Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania, California and Illinois, The Daily Tribune reports.

“They realize their appeals will not withstand a federal challenge,” Mahrle said Monday, noting a sea change in attitudes over equal rights for all.

Commissioner David Poulton cited emotion surrounding the same-sex marriage issue in his dissenting vote and said the process is already at work to resolve the issue.

“It will be dealt with and it will move forward,” he said.

Another commissioner, Peggy Goodwin, abstained from voting. She said that though she supports Royal Oak’s 2013 human rights proposal, Michigan’s appeal of Friedman’s ruling is outside the purview of city commissioners.

But Mayor Jim Ellison said the resolution sends a strong message to Snyder and Schuette and he would like to see more communities follow suit.

“I think it is what our community would like us to do,” he said.

City officials in Ann Arbor passed a similar resolution Monday.

Related: Tell Us: Do you think the state should drop its appeal of the gay marriage ruling?
SAS April 10, 2014 at 08:06 AM
@Paul - personally, I don't have a problem with "civil union", but I'm not gay. As far as I'm concerned, "marriage" is just a term to describe the union. (It's also a term used in chemistry, music, math, etc., so really, it's just a descriptive word.) Would you be offended if these people within a civil union described their joining as a "marriage", to say they are "married"? Common Law states have couples who never went through an actual ceremony but after a certain number of years the state recognizes them as "married". No church, no Justice of the Peace, just time spent living together. It's just a word that describes a union, a joining. What we are looking for here is equal rights, the right for a "spouse" or "legal partner" to have the same legal rights that a husband and wife enjoy. Nobody wants to infringe on your religious rights. But you realize not everyone has the same beliefs, therefore you should not force your beliefs on others. Yes, I know what this country was built on, but times change and we are a flexible species. We can change, grow, adapt. If the law passes, nobody is saying the churches are forced to marry anyone. The church has historically turned heterosexual couples away if it believed they are not suited for each other. Those people still have the right to a civil union, correct? So really, what is the difference? It's about legal rights. No one is trying to take away your religious freedoms. If you don't like what your particular church chooses to do, you find another. No organization is one size fits all. It's like this - what if a law was passed that said all restaurants are allowed to serve raw eggs, and raw eggs offend you? If your favorite restaurant decides they want to include raw eggs on their menu offerings, and you just can't stand the idea of being in the same building as raw eggs, you go find another restaurant. You could stay if you wanted, but you don't have to. Nobody's rights are being infringed upon. The restaurant has the right to change their menu without any input from you. You don't like it, you leave. Simple. But maybe that restaurant decides not to serve raw eggs. The law says they are allowed to, but they don't have to. A raw egg eater can not force that restaurant to serve them. They'll have to find another restaurant that will. Inconvenient? Yes, but whoever said finding happiness was easy?
Daffy Noodnicks April 10, 2014 at 09:10 AM
There are a lot of tangible and intangible things a marriage provides that any other label does not. Withholding these from people who are gay has consistently been ruled to be a violation of equal protection under the constitution. If people want to say a gay marriage is somehow less than a traditional marriage in their house of worship that's their business, but in civil law it isn't fair. The religious argument falls on it's face when you consider that there are Christian marriages being conducted all over this country where it is legal to do so. Just because one persons religious convictions prevent accepting marriage equality, that does not mean it extends to everyone. Does anyone think there are not a lot (probably most) of gay people who are Christian? At any rate, fantasies about the historical influence of any particular religion has no place in civil law in this country, particularly when we are talking about equal treatment under the law. Nobody is forcing anything on anyone. When 300 gay couples were legally married in Michigan the other day, nobody was compelled to participate or attend or bless or host in their house of worship anything they didn't want to. It just meant that some people received the same treatment under civil law that I did when I married my spouse. My marriage is as sanctified and strong as ever, and gay people have been getting married around this country and the world for years.
Daffy Noodnicks April 10, 2014 at 09:14 AM
Also, the Michigan marriage amendment specifically prohibited anything like a civil union, so the idea that some people will somehow hold their noses when gay people get something a little but closer to equal treatment doesn't make a whole lot of sense in that light.
Daffy Noodnicks April 10, 2014 at 09:18 AM
Marriage equality is the law of the land in many places in this country. Nowhere has any house of worship ever been forced to conduct a marriage ceremony that it didn't welcome. That is not what this is about. If you don't want it in your church, don't have it. Other churches will. That is the business of churches. The government (civil marriage) should not discriminate where there is no rational basis to do so.

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