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Michigan
Family Forum

mailing address:
PO Box 15216
Lansing, MI
48901-5216

street address:
112 E. Allegan
Suite 300
Lansing

phone:
(517) 374-1171

fax:
(517) 374-6112

web:
michiganfamily.org

 

FAQs on Proposal 2

 

Q. Do I vote “Yes” or “No” if I want to protect traditional marriage as it exists today?

A. You should vote “Yes” on Proposal 2

 

Q. What does Proposal 2 do?

A. Proposal 2 will amend the Michigan Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriages from being legalized by the legislature or from being imposed by judges. It will also prohibit the courts or future lawmakers from mandating civil unions or domestic partnerships, similar to those created in Vermont.

 

Q. How does Proposal 2 change current public policy in the area of marriage.

A. Proposal 2 protects current public policy, it doesn’t really change anything .

 

Q. If it doesn’t really change anything, does that mean same-sex marriage is already illegal? If so, is this Amendment really necessary?

A. Same-sex marriages are illegal in Michigan. In 1996, the Michigan legislature passed a law to prohibit same-sex marriages. Unfortunately, some courts and elected officials in other states have used state constitutions to declare similar laws unconstitutional. It is entirely possible for a judge in Michigan to interpret Art. I Sec. 2 of the Michigan Constitution (“No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws”) so that they declare our law unconstitutional. Proposal 2 will make it clear that this important phrase is not misused to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples.

 

Q. What does “or similar union” mean?

A. The term “similar union” is referring any relationship intended to replace marriage, such civil unions or domestic partnerships.

 

Q. How do same-sex marriages affect my marriage?

A. While private relationships between same-sex partners will not influence another couple’s marriage, redefining marriage to include same-sex partners will undermine the institution of marriage over time. Our common understanding of what marriage is helps us recognize, discuss, protect and cherish the institution. If it is redefined to include same-sex, multiple or intentionally temporary unions, our culture will lack the ability to clearly identify, protect and cherish the institution.

 

Q. Will this take away existing health benefits from children of same-sex partners?

A. No. While opponents claim this will be a significant problem, no child is in danger of losing benefits.

 

Q. Will unions or businesses be prohibited from negotiating contracts that offer benefits to same-sex partners of employees.

A. No. Nothing in Proposal 2 can reasonably be interpreted to interfere with the right of a union or private business to negotiate benefits with their employees. Proposal 2 only prohibits the legal recognition of same-sex unions by the state. The state of Michigan will be prohibited from providing benefits to same-sex partners of state employees if those benefits are provided based on marital status, as most are.

 

Q. Will public universities be prohibited from providing benefits to partners of employees?

A. Legal experts disagree on how much this may restrict public universities. The Michigan Constitution grants universities significant autonomy to govern themselves through their elected Boards. It is reasonable to assume that state funds will be prohibited from from going to same-sex partner benefits while other funding sources, such as tuition, fees or donations, will be allowed to pay for same-sex partner benefits.

 

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