Michigan Proposal 04-2

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Michigan Proposal 04-2[1] of 2004, is an amendment to the Michigan Constitution that made it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions. The referendum was approved by 59% of the voters.[2]

The text of the amendment states:

To secure and preserve the benefits of marriage for our society and for future generations of children, the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose.[3]

In May 2008, the Michigan Supreme Court held that the amendment bans not only same-sex marriage and civil unions, but also public employee domestic partnership benefits such as health insurance.[4] However, the ruling had little effect since most public employers, relaxed their eligibility criteria to not run afoul of the amendment.[5] On June 28, 2013, U.S. District Judge David M. Lawson issued a preliminary injunction blocking the state from enforcing its law banning local governments and school districts from offering health benefits to their employees' domestic partners. He wrote: "It is hard to argue with a straight face that the primary purpose—indeed, perhaps the sole purpose—of the statute is other than to deny health benefits to the same-sex partners of public employees. But that can never be a legitimate governmental purpose". He rejected the state's arguments that "fiscal responsibility" was the law's rationale.[6][7]

On March 21, 2014, a federal judge ruled that Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and did not stay the ruling,[8] although the ruling was later suspended.

On November 6, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit overturned the lower court declaring that:

When the courts do not let the people resolve new social issues like this one, they perpetuate the idea that the heroes in these change events are judges and lawyers. Better in this instance, we think, to allow change through the customary political processes, in which the people, gay and straight alike, become the heroes of their own stories by meeting each other not as adversaries in a court system but as fellow citizens seeking to resolve a new social issue in a fair-minded way. For these reasons, we reverse.[9]

On January 16, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to the same-sex marriage cases arising out of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Oral arguments were held on April 28, 2015 and a ruling was made on June 26, 2015 allowing same-sex marriage in every state.


Proposal 04-2[10]
Choice Votes %
Referendum passed Yes 2,698,077 58.63
No 1,904,319 41.37
Total votes 4,602,396 100.00
Registered voters and turnout 7,263,024 63.36

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2004 General Election Results Archived 2007-02-22 at the Wayback Machine, Michigan Department of State. Accessed 19 December 2006.
  2. ^ CNN.com Election 2004 - Ballot Measures Accessed 30 November 2006.
  3. ^ Michigan State Constitution, Article I, section 25, Michigan Legislature. Accessed 19 December 2006.
  4. ^ National Pride at Work, Inc. v. Governor of Michigan 748 N.W.2d 524
  5. ^ "Ruling on same-sex benefits weighed". Mlive.com. 2008-05-08. Archived from the original on 2013-11-02. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  6. ^ White, Ed (June 28, 2013). "Mich. ban on domestic partner benefits blocked". Pioneer Press. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  7. ^ Lederman, Marty (July 1, 2013). "After Windsor: Michigan same-sex partners benefits suit advances". SCOTUSblog. Retrieved July 2, 2013.
  8. ^ White, Ed (March 21, 2014). "Judge strikes down Michigan's ban on gay marriage". AP News. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  9. ^ Deboer v Snyder et al, 14-1341 (UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT November 6, 2014).
  10. ^ "2004 General Election Turnout Rates". United States Election Project. June 4, 2013. Archived from the original on July 9, 2013.

External links[edit]