Press Room

March 10, 2004

Category: Civil Unions, Domestic Partners

HRC Lauds Michigan House Defeat of Anti-Marriage Constitutional Amendment

No Constitution Should Be Used to Discriminate, Says HRC

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign lauded the Michigan House of Representatives defeat of a proposed constitutional amendment that would have denied marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships to same-sex couples in Michigan.

"Enshrining discrimination in any constitution is always wrong," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques. "We applaud the representatives for voting to treat Michigan's citizens equally in the state's guiding document. Elected officials in Washington should follow Michigan's lead and get back to concentrating on the issues that are their constituents' priorities - not messing with the Constitution."

"We were always confident that fairness and equality would win the day," said Sean Kosofsky, director of policy for Triangle Foundation - a Michigan group serving the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. "But to have the vote behind us, and to have been able to put down this attack on gays and lesbians, is a great relief and makes for a great day in Michigan."

The March 9 vote on the amendment was 65 to 38, eight votes short of the two-thirds necessary for passage. Three Republicans joined in voting against the measure.

To defeat this bill, HRC worked with the Coalition for a Fair Michigan - a large group that includes statewide groups like the Triangle Foundation and Michigan Equality.

"We are proud to have partnered with the Coalition for a Fair Michigan to help build grassroots opposition to this amendment," said Sally Green, HRC's associate field director. "We activated HRC members to join CFM in calling and writing legislators, attending two Lobby Days in Lansing, and in spreading the word. We will continue to partner with CFM to ensure that this amendment does not crop up again in 2004."

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.