HRC Blog

Momentum for Marriage Equality Continues with Michigan Ruling

Michigan today became the latest state to have its ban on marriage equality ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge, and in the process also dealt a blow to the credibility of the anti-gay parenting junk science peddled by UT Austin sociologist Mark Regnerus.

“The momentum for marriage equality is undeniable as yet another federal judge affirmed today that all loving and committed same-sex couples deserve to be treated equally under the law,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin. “Today’s ruling in Michigan now joins similar rulings in Virginia, Kentucky, Texas, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah. It’s clear that the law is on the side of LGBT Americans, and we are moving with increasing momentum toward the day when all loving and committed same-sex couples receive the dignity and respect they deserve.”

The Michigan ruling is particularly significant because Mark Regnerus, who authored a biased and flawed anti-gay parenting study that was conceived and funded by anti-gay groups, testified during the trial as a witness for the state. Regnerus again stated that he believed marriage was between one man and one woman. He also admitted that the report’s chief funder, the anti-gay Witherspoon Institute, wanted the study completed before the U.S. Supreme Court took up marriage equality. Hundreds of Regnerus’ fellow sociologists, the American Sociological Association, and even his own department at UT Austin have all spoken out against his anti-gay study.

In today’s ruling, Friedman - who was appointed to the bench by President Ronald Reagan - wrote

"The Court finds Regnerus's testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration. The evidence adduced at trial demonstrated that his 2012 'study' was hastily concocted at the behest of a third-party funder, which found it 'essential that the necessary data be gathered to settle the question in the forum of public debate about what kinds of family arrangement are best for society' and which 'was confident that the traditional understanding of marriage will be vindicated by this study.' ... While Regnerus maintained that the funding source did not affect his impartiality as a researcher, the Court finds this testimony unbelievable. The funder clearly wanted a certain result, and Regnerus obliged."

Currently 29 states have constitutional amendments restricting marriage to one man and one woman.  Same-sex couples can legally marry in 17 states and Washington, DC.

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