house resolution no.329

Reps. Pohutsky, Brabec, Clemente, Hope, Brixie, Glanville, Rogers, LaGrand, Weiss and Sneller offered the following resolution:

A resolution to affirm that Obergefell v. Hodges was rightly decided.

Whereas, In 2015, the United States Supreme Court recognized in Obergefell v. Hodges that the fundamental right to marry extends to same-sex couples, under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.  It is one of several essential cases under the substantive due process doctrine, protecting rights that are deeply rooted in our nation's history and tradition and are implicit in the concept of ordered liberty. The implicit constitutional right to marry, long protected under the Constitution, should continue to extend to same-sex couples; and

Whereas, Obergefell correctly decided that the reasons why marriage is a fundamental right apply equally to same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Decisions about marriage are an expression of individual autonomy; they are "among the most intimate that an individual can make" and "shape an individual's destiny." Marriage is "a two-person union unlike any other in its importance to the committed individuals." It "safeguards children and families," providing both material and emotional benefits such as permanency and stability. And marriage is "a keystone of our social order," recognized since the earliest days of our republic and historically as the basis for many governmental rights, benefits, and responsibilities. None of these truths apply with less force to same-sex couples than to opposite-sex couples, and thus same-sex couples should be included among those who enjoy the fundamental right to marriage; and

Whereas, Since marriage is a fundamental right, it cannot baselessly be denied to certain classes of people, in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Obergefell correctly concluded that bans on same-sex marriage "are in essence unequal: Same-sex couples are denied all the benefits afforded to opposite-sex couples and are barred from exercising a fundamental right." Such a ban serves only to stigmatize and perpetuate a history of discrimination, disrespect, and subordination. Same-sex couples cannot be denied the right to marry on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples; and

Whereas, The 2022 decision Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization should not threaten Obergefell and the right to same-sex marriage. The majority should be true to its word that this decision "concerns the constitutional right to abortion and no other right. Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion." Substantive due process doctrine has not been overturned, the right to marriage is still protected as an implied right under the Constitution, and the reasons why marriage is a fundamental right still apply equally to same-sex and opposite-sex couples. The history and importance of marriage are not changed by the Dobbs decision, and the right of same-sex couples to equally enjoy the ancient institution of marriage is not changed by this decision; and

Whereas, There are many Michigan families exercising their rights under Obergefell. The United States Census Bureau estimates that, as of 2019, there were approximately 12,557 married same-sex households in Michigan. Around 18.9 percent of these married same-sex couples have at least one minor child living with them, so same-sex couples provide homes to many of Michigan's children; and

Whereas, Without Obergefell, these Michigan couples and families would lose many important rights. Under Article I, Section 25 of the Constitution of the State of Michigan of 1963, marriage is still defined as the union of one man and one woman. Obergefell overrides this provision of the state constitution to ensure same-sex couples in Michigan can choose to marry and receive important benefits related to taxation, Social Security benefits, and the right to make medical decisions, as well as intangible benefits in the form of dignity, respect, and equality; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That we affirm that Obergefell v. Hodges was rightly decided.