By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com June 24 2013 12:36 PM ET
While the Supreme Court continues to deliberate over two marriage equality cases, Democratic lawmakers in Michigan are moving ahead with legislation to establish the freedom to marry.
House Democrats today introduced a package of marriage equality bills that would amend the Michigan constitution to allow same-sex marriage, overturning a voter-approved ban from 2004, and would also allow Michigan to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, reports the Detroit Free Press. The package of legislation includes four bills, which would also amend the state's law on who may marry, and proposes a resolution calling on the U.S. Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.
"My colleagues and I believe that Michigan cannot wait any longer to recognize marriage equality and allow all people the equal rights and benefits that married couples currently enjoy," said East Lansing Democrat Sam Singh, one of the key sponsors of the legislation. Singh is joined by fellow House Democrats Rudy Hobbs, Jeff Irwin, and Kate Segal in introducing the legislative package.
"It’s time for Michigan to stop discriminating against the thousands of couples who want to marry and enjoy the same recognition and benefits for themselves and their children that come with marriage, and that my wife, Kathryn, and our kids enjoy," said Irwin in a statement announcing the bills. "The legislation that we propose today represents the next step in the fight to ensure all citizens are equal in Michigan."
"The Democratic leaders who will introduce these marriage equality bills recognize the importance of Michigan standing on the right side of history in regards to the rights of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) citizens," said Emily Dievendorf, managing director of Equality Michigan, in a press release. "Michigan's voters will no longer tolerate second-class treatment of LGBT families. Enough is enough, and Representatives Singh, Hobbs, Irwin, and Segal deserve credit for helping lead the charge."