Michigan For Marriage Launches Public Education Effort on Why Marriage Matters

May 08, 2014

MICHIGAN – Today, in an effort to win the freedom to marry for all couples in the state, Equality Michigan, the ACLU of Michigan, and Freedom to Marry launched a grassroots public education effort called Michigan For Marriage.

The move comes as the DeBoer v. Snyder marriage equality case advances rapidly through the federal judicial system. However, the group is not circulating petitions — rather, they are focused on conversations with the public about the importance of marriage equality. 

All committed couples should have the freedom to marry in the state that they call home, and that includes same-sex couples in Michigan. The landscape for marriage is shifting rapidly. A February 2014 poll of Michigan voters showed strong majority support for marriage equality, with 56% endorsing marriage equality for all couples.

"Marriage equality, two words that mean so much to so many. For us marriage equality means protection for our family and in reality our children,” said April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, plaintiffs in the DeBoer v. Snyder case. “It means waking up each day knowing if something were to happen to one of us that our children would remain in the only family they have ever known…Nothing says that you are a family in the eyes of the law, a true legal family, like a marriage license. A certificate with our names on it and a state seal that everyone recognizes, finally gives our family the legal safeties and securities afforded by a marriage license that all families should enjoy."

In March, a federal judge ruled that Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The ruling, coupled with the prospect of a 2016 ballot measure on the issue, show that Michigan
is ready for marriage.

“We haven’t become officially engaged yet because we don’t want to get our hopes up just yet. It would break my heart to formally ask [my partner] Jamiil to marry me, and then be told again
and again we cannot wed,” Robert Tompkins of Oak Park said. “We have already picked out wedding dates and looked at rings, but are waiting on Michigan to let us move forward. We believe that Michigan will do the right thing, and respect our family and love for one another. This is our home state, and we don’t want to have to move just to say ‘I do’.”

Michigan For Marriage will promote and share supporters’ personal stories about why marriage matters to them and their families. This public education campaign is dedicated to changing hearts and minds to move marriage forward for all loving and committed couples. It aims to generate public discussion about family, freedom and personal liberty.

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