In a number of states across the country, including Michigan, Republicans are fighting progress and asking that their states be allowed to discriminate against people based on sexual preference by allowing gay marriage bans approved by voters and state legislatures to remain legal.
This is being done in spite of rulings that these bans are unconstitutional.
One of the arguments used by lawyers in support of their state gay marriage bans asserts that there isn't enough data on how children of same sex couples fare in life. Since when did we decided that the U.S. Constitution only applies to those who can provide a child with an arbitrarily measured "good life"? Children from poor families are less likely to "fare well" than children for wealthy families. Does that mean we get to refuse to recognize the marriage of two individuals until their combined earnings reach a Congressionally-sanctioned level?
Perhaps what these people really mean is same sex couples may raise their kids to believe that everyone is created equal and to avoid prejudging people based on a certain characteristic. Don't these gay couples realize that such tolerance only applies to people who love guns, Jesus, and Duck Dynasty? Because these groups are the ones that are truly ostracized in this country.
Perhaps what these people really mean is that being gay is a disease that can spread like the "great cooties outbreak of 52." If same sex couples are giving access to children, they will turn them gay, too, and soon take over the nation like the zombie apocalypse.
The other argument these lawyers appear to be making is that decisions on same sex marriage should come "not through the courts, but through the people."
The idea that each state should be allowed carte blanche to determine which parts of the U.S. Constitution it will follow and which parts it won't is universally considered an awful idea. But having the Republican legal delegation from Michigan make such a contention is very odd.
Where was this concern for the people when Michigan residents voted to remove the emergency manager law from the books, only to see the Legislature replace it a few months later?
Where is the concern for the Raise Michigan petition that was going to give voters the opportunity to voice their opinion on setting the minimum wage for Michigan businesses before the Legislature killed the law and replaced it -- rendering the petition null and void without a single Michigan voter's stamp of approval?
Where is the concern for Michigan residents that want a voice in whether we as a state allow wolf hunting or not? Even with multiple ballot initiatives on the topic ready for November, the Legislature stepped in and agreed to allow wolf hunting regardless of how the majority of Michiganians feel.
Where is the concern for the Legislature's abuse of power in shielding laws like these and others from voter referendums? By including small and unnecessary budgetary stipulations the Legislature has decided to silence the people they claim should hold all the power when it comes to a decision on the legality of same sex marriage.
But if these Republicans are serious about giving people a voice on the fate of Michigan's Constitutional ban on same sex marriage, they should pull a few strings and put the question back on the ballot and see if Attorney General Bill Schuette is really fighting for what voters want, or if this is just an excuse to use the bigotry of a bygone era as justification to propagate an uneducated phobia.
No matter how much work the Legislature, the governor, or the attorney general do to circumnavigate, hinder, or quash the will of the people their jobs will always be in the hands of the voters.
November affords all voters the perfect opportunity to voice their opinion. It's possible that these elected officials really do speak for the citizens they represent, but just to be on the safe side they might want to give their resume a quick once-over, because polls and recent court decisions suggest these bastions of democracy are on the wrong side of history when it comes to gay marriage.