Could the same-sex marriage debate impact the 2014 election?

Mar 27, 2014

This week, host Jennifer White discusses the latest developments in same-sex marriages in Michigan and their impact on the 2014 elections. She is joined by Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Susan Demas, publisher of Michigan Inside Politics.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman struck down Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage. On Saturday, more than 300 couples rushed to speak their vows before the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay on Judge Friedman’s ruling until further deliberation. Yesterday, Gov. Rick Snyder stated that while the marriages performed over the weekend were legal, they cannot be officially recognized by the state due to the current law.

Ken Sikkema indicates that while it may be politically challenging for Gov. Snyder, his position will be to comply with the law.

“I think at the end of the day, his position is going to be, as it is today, ‘I’m going to comply with the law,' whatever the law is, finally resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court."

Meanwhile, Susan Demas mentions that although Attorney General Bill Schuette has been vocal about his opposition to same-sex marriage, he did not address the issue in his campaign reelection announcement last week.

“In his announcement in Lansing at least, he did not touch on the same-sex marriage issue; it was all that the press asked him about afterwards. But even he used softer language than he has in the past because he said that ‘Look, nobody is disputing that the two plaintiffs love their kids, gay couples love their kids, straight couples love their kids, nobody is trying to deny rights, I’m just trying to protect the constitution.’”

Sikkema says it will be interesting to see if this encourages those opposed to same-sex marriage to vote in the upcoming election or if it will cause them to withdraw from the political process. To hear more about how this case might play out come November, listen to the full interview above.

– Omar Saadeh, Michigan Radio Newsroom