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State Legislature aims to head same-sex marriage off at the pass

Jun 24, 2015

The Supreme Court is expected to hand down rulings on a number of cases regarding same-sex marriage this week.
Credit user Ted Eytan / flickr

State Rep. Todd Courser, R-Lapeer, is attempting to head same-sex marriage off at the pass with a new package of bills that would take secular elected officials out of the marriage business altogether.

Only clergy would legally be allowed to marry people in Michigan.

Meanwhile, Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, is asking for legislation that would protect pastors from being forced to marry same-sex couples.

Robert Sedler teaches courses in constitutional law and conflict of laws at Wayne State University Law School, and he tells us that the legislation introduced by Courser is unconstitutional.

“That’s a clear violation of the Establishment Clause,” Sedler says.

Sedler explains that marriage is a legal relationship established by the state, and to require religious marriage would be unconstitutional.

“This idea is absolutely ridiculous,” he says. “Let’s move on.”

He goes on to tell us that the protections Glenn is asking for are already granted by the Free Exercise Clause, and that there’s no real reason for state legislation to confront an issue already taken care of by the U.S. Constitution.

The Supreme Court’s decisions on a number of cases regarding same-sex marriage are expected to be handed down this week or early next week.