Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bigotry in Michigan's Constitution is Affirmed

Yesterday, the Michigan Supreme Court released its opinion regarding a case about whether a Rove-inspired amendment to Michigan's constitution a few years back which outlaws same-sex marriage and civil unions also prevents public entities in the state from offering health benefits to same-sex partners.

The Michigan Court of Appeals already said that it did prevent it. Unsurprisingly, the ultra-conservative Michigan Supreme Court affirmed that in a 5-2 decision yesterday.

What makes this particularly sickening, beyond the fact that Michigan voters literally codified bigotry into our Constitution, is that when the ballot initiative was being sold to the public here, there were explicit flyers and other statements promising that the amendment would NOT affect health benefits. Then the same people turned around and, after the amendment was passed, argued that they actually did. In other words, they lied their asses off to get the amendment passed and then used somewhat vague langauge in the amendment to argue the opposite of what they claimed it meant before the election. That alone is bad enough. What is worse is that the Michigan Supreme Court has now condoned and rewarded this behavior. It is now the law of the state that you can commit any degree of fraud you want in arguing for passage of an amendment - you won't be held to any of it when it comes time to interpret what somewhat vague language in the amendment actually means.

I'm of half a mind to go out and organize (if I could) a campaign to amend the constitution again, this time with a change that explicitly allows same-sex marriage, but worded in such a way that it seems ambiguous, and then put up a PR campaign that lies about it in an attempt to get evangelical voters to go for it. What's good for the goose...

What is even more depressing is that bad decisions of this caliber come out of the Michigan Supreme Court with great regularity. We have the most ultra-conservative, radical right-wing court in the entire nation, mostly put in place by Engler appointments (which require no confirmation vote). Strangely, despite our state being the most corporate-friendly in the entire nation when it comes to the judiciary, Michigan's economy is in the shitter.

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