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25 retired Republicans back gay marriage for Michigan

A group of 25 retired Michigan Republicans has joined the challenge to that state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying, arguing that allowing same-sex couples to marry is consistent with Republican values and the spirit of the US Constitution
The Potter Stewart Courthouse in Cincinnati, Ohio where the cases will be heard
Photo by Carol M Highsmith/Library of Congress

Michigan’s Republican Attorney General may have a harder time appealing a court decision to strike down his state’s ban on same-sex marriage after 25 retired lawmakers and leading figures from his own party joined the case in support of marriage equality.

Attorney General Bill Shuette is trying to reverse a federal district court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in the his, but the group of retired Republicans has now filed a ‘friend of the court’ or amicus brief in which they present a 40 page rebuttal to arguments commonly used to argue against same-sex marriage.

Further more they argue that supporting same-sex marriage is consistent with their values as Republicans and the spirit of the US Constitution.

The group of Republicans includes both members of the federal and Michigan state Houses of Representatives, senior party officials, strategists and staffers, with standouts including former state House speaker Rick Johnson and former majority floor leader of the state House Christopher Ward.

In their amicus brief the Republicans argue that there is ‘no legitimate, fact based justification for different legal treatment of committed relationships between same- sex couples,’ and that, ‘social science does not support’ any of the issues cited by the State of Michigan in opposing same-sex couples from being able to marry.

‘This court should protect the fundamental right of civil marriage by ensuring that it is available to same-sex couples,’ the brief reads.

The brief goes on to state that the court striking down Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage would not be an example of ‘judicial activism,’ but merely part of the court’s duty to ‘set aside laws that overstep the limits imposed by the Constitution.’

A federal appeals court for the Sixth Circuit announced earlier this week that it will hear challenges to marriage bans in all four states that it covers simultaneously – deciding the issue for Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee all together.

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