Michigan Greens Welcome Supreme Court’s Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage Equality

Green Party of Michigan

News Release
June 28, 2015

For More Information, Contact:
Chris Silva, GPMI Chair
(313) 815-2025

John Anthony La Pietra, GPMI Media Committee

Thank DeBoer and Rowse; Call on Officials to Make All Michigan Families Equal

The Green Party of Michigan (GPMI) welcomes the US Supreme Court’s decision this week to recognize that marriage is a fundamental right for all, including same-sex couples.

John Anthony La Pietra of Marshall says: “As we welcome the Court majority’s recognition of the truth of marriage equality, we congratulate and thank the generations of activists whose years of struggle made this decision possible – including Michigan’s own plaintiffs April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse.” La Pietra was GPMI’s 2014 Attorney General candidate against incumbent Bill Schuette, whose resistance to marriage equality forced DeBoer and Rowse to take their case to the Supreme Court – and Michigan taxpayers to foot Schuette’s legal bills.

Candace Caveny of Lapeer, the 2014 Green candidate for Lieutenant Governor, is sad the decision comes too late for some – including GPMI’s 2013 special-election candidate Bobby Jones, a US Navy veteran who died of cancer while still unable to marry his longtime partner. Caveny helped found the Lapeer County Equal Rights Alliance in 2003 “after a majority of our county commissioners passed a resolution labeling our LGBTQ neighbors as ‘abominations’. We have finally seen the remedy we have been seeking.”

Michigan Greens have long favored equal rights for all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. In 2004, GPMI went on record at the Legislature against the joint resolution that became Proposal 2 amending Michigan’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage. It was the only party of the six on the Michigan ballot to join the Coalition for a Fair Michigan in opposing the measure.

GPMI’s platform states the party’s value of Respect for Diversity and adds: “No human should be denied rights based on race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or any other discriminatory category. GPMI strongly supports granting the rights outlined in the Bill of Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to all humans – in our country, including immigrants, and around the world.”

La Pietra notes that one reason given by the Court for holding that marriage rights are fundamental is that marriage “safeguards children and families and thus draws meaning from related rights of childrearing, procreation, and education” – though it added that “the right to marry cannot be conditioned on the capacity or commitment to procreate.”

Jason West, the former Green mayor of New Paltz, New York, was the US’s first public official to perform same-sex marriages. We call on elected officials from county clerks and mayors who can perform marriages to the Legislature and the Attorney General to implement this decision in full, and make equality for all Michigan families – marriage, adoption, and more – a reality.”

The Supreme Court’s opinion in the case, officially named _Obergefell v Hodges_ for the parties in a parallel case from Ohio, can be seen here: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf

For more information about GPMI, its values, and its platform, visit http://www.MIGreenParty.org/

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Green Party of Michigan
PO Box 504
Warren, MI 48090-0504

GPMI was formed in 1987 to address environmental issues in Michigan politics. Greens are organized in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Each state Green Party sets its own goals and creates its own structure, but US Greens agree on Ten Key Values:

Ecological Wisdom
Grassroots Democracy
Social Justice
Community Economics
Respect for Diversity
Personal/Global Responsibility
Future Focus/Sustainability