Michigan Marriage Amendment, Proposal 2 (2004)
The Michigan Marriage Initiative, also known as Proposal 2, was on the November 2004 ballot in Michigan as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was approved and later overturned. The had stated that the union of one man and one woman in marriage would be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose.
On March 21, 2014, a federal district court judge Bernard Friedman ruled that the measure violated the U.S. Constitution, and ordered that the state stop enforcing the ban. Friedman stated that, "The court finds the (amendment) impermissibly discriminates against same-sex couples in violation of the Equal Protection Clause because the provision does not advance any conceivable state interest." The ruling followed similar rulings in Texas, Virginia, Oklahoma and Utah. However, the rulings in those cases only suspended the enforcement of similar laws until appeals could be made to higher courts.
On November 6, 2014, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court's ruling in Michigan. In a 2 to 1 vote, Judge Jeffrey Sutton and Judge Deborah Cook upheld the voter-approved ban. Judge Sutton said:
|“||When the courts do not let the people resolve new social issues like this one, they perpetuate the idea that the heroes in these change events are judges and lawyers. Better in this instance, we think, to allow change through the customary political processes, in which the people, gay and straight alike, become the heroes of their own stories by meeting each other not as adversaries in a court system but as fellow citizens seeking to resolve a new social issue in a fair-minded way.||”|
—Judge Jeffrey Sutton
He also argued that states have an interest in defining measure "not to regulate love but to regulate sex, most especially the intended and unintended effects of male-female intercourse." Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey, the court's dissenter, delivered a critical opinion. She said, "If we in the judiciary do not have the authority, and indeed the responsibility, to right fundamental wrongs left excused by a majority of the electorate, our whole intricate, constitutional system of checks and balances, as well as the oaths to which we swore, prove to be nothing but shams."
Appeals to the US Supreme Court were filed for the Michigan case and for cases from other states in the Sixth Circuit's jurisdiction. The Michigan petition asked the nation's highest court to decide "[w]hether a state violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by denying same-sex couples the right to marry." The US Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from states seeking to uphold same-sex marriage bans in October 2014, which was before the Sixth Circuit's ruling. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg hinted at the court's reasoning, saying, "Now if that court should disagree with the others, then there will be some urgency in the court taking the case." With the Sixth Circuit's ruling, there is now a disagreement between appeals courts.
|Michigan Proposal 2 (2004)|
Official results via: The Michigan Secretary of the State
Financing the campaign
The "yes" campaign spent $1,931,409 and the "no" campaign spent $854,212.
Major donors to the "yes" side were:
- Archdiocese of Detroit, $538,100.
- Jointly, the Dioceses of Lansing, Grand Rapids, Saginaw, Gaylord, Kalamazoo and Marquette, $461,900.
- Family Research Council, $376,397.
Major donors to the "no" side were:
- Human Rights Campaign, $231,081.
- Jon Stryker, $20,000.
Voters in 30 states have approved legislatively-referred constitutional amendments or initiated constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriages at the ballot box. The first constitutional prohibition was in 1998, and the latest one occurred in May 2012. Most of these amendments define marriage along the lines of a "union of one male and one female."
The following constitutional bans were approved by voters, but later overturned by courts:
- Alaska Marriage Amendment, Measure 2 (1998)
- Nevada Marriage Amendment, Question 2 (2002)
- Montana Marriage Verification, Measure CI-96 (2004)
- Oklahoma Marriage Question 711 (2004)
- Oregon Marriage Measure 36 (2004)
- Utah Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Amendment 3 (2004)
- Kansas Marriage Amendment (2005)
- Alabama Sanctity of Marriage, Constitutional Amendment 774 (June 2006)
- Colorado Definition of Marriage, Initiative 43 (2006)
- Idaho Marriage Definition, HJR 2 (2006)
- South Carolina Amendment 1, the Marriage Act (2006)
- Virginia Question 1, Marriage Amendment (2006)
- Wisconsin Marriage Amendment, Question 1 (2006)
- Arizona Marriage Protection, Proposition 102 (2008)
- California Proposition 8, the "Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry" Initiative (2008)
- Florida Definition of Marriage, Amendment 2 (2008)
- North Carolina Same-Sex Marriage, Amendment 1 (May 2012)
Cases overturning the following bans have been appealed to higher courts and are currently stayed:
- Nebraska Marriage Definition Amendment, Initiative 416 (2000)
- Missouri Marriage Definition, Amendment 2 (August 2004)
- Note: Same-sex marriage is legal in St. Louis County and the state recognizes same-sex marriages.
- Mississippi Marriage Definition, Amendment 1 (2004)
- Arkansas Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Proposed Constitutional Amendment 3 (2004)
- South Dakota Marriage Amendment (2006)
- Texas Definition of Marriage Act, Proposition 2 (2005)
The following constitutional bans were approved by voters and have been upheld or not overturned by courts:
- Louisiana Marriage Amendment, Question 1 (September 2004)
- Georgia Marriage Amendment, Question 1 (2004)
- Kentucky Marriage Amendment (2004)
- Michigan Marriage Amendment, Proposal 2 (2004)
- North Dakota Definition of Marriage, Constitutional Measure 1 (2004)
- Ohio Issue 1, the Marriage Amendment (2004)
- Tennessee Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Amendment 1 (2006)
The following constitutional bans were defeated by voters:
- Note: Arizonans defeated a measure in 2006, but approved one in 2008, which has been overturned.
- Michigan 2004 ballot measures
- 2004 ballot measures
- List of Michigan ballot measures
- History of Initiative & Referendum in Michigan
- Michigan Department of State, "State Proposal - 04-2: Constitutional Amendment: recognition of 'marriage'," accessed March 24, 2014
- Michigan Legislature, "STATE CONSTITUTION (EXCERPT) CONSTITUTION OF MICHIGAN OF 1963, § 25 Marriage," accessed March 24, 2014
- CNN, "Federal judge strikes down Michigan's gay marriage ban," accessed March 24, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- USA Today, "Gay marriage bans in four states upheld, Supreme Court review likely," November 7, 2014
- Washington Post, "Two more same-sex marriage cases reach the Supreme Court," November 18, 2014
- New York Times, "Same-Sex Couples Petition Supreme Court on Right to Marriage," November 14, 2014
- Follow the Money database for Michigan Proposal 2
State of Michigan
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