Jay Kaplan, LGBT Project Staff Attorney
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Across the country, we are seeing incredible progress made in terms of marriage equality and relationship recognition.
To talk about the sweeping changes we've seen in the last decade and look at some upcoming challenges, we're talking about Marriage Matters this month. This series of blogs will range from the history of the fight for LGBT rights in Michigan to an in-depth look at the upcoming DeBoer case, which could impact marriage equality in Michigan when heard later this month.
To date, 17 states as well as the District of Columbia permit same-sex couples to marry, and more will soon join with almost 50 current legal challenges in both state and federal courts regarding the issue. At the ACLU of Michigan, we maintain that a legal civil marriage is a fundamental constitutional right, recognized by the United States Supreme Court.
These marriage certificates are more than just a piece of paper or the opportunity to celebrate love. They are the legal recognition of the dignity and worth of same-sex couples and their love and commitment to one another.
In Michigan, we still have a long way to go. Current Michigan law denies same-sex couples the fundamental right to marry.
The right to marry has significant impact on both the financial and emotional stability of LGBT families. It affects the relationships of parents and children, leaving children without the legal protections and security of two parents.
The right to marry also determines the eligibility of loved ones to access important financial securities, such as social security benefits and health insurance. Without this fundamental right, LGBT families suffer the indignity of being legally fragmented in the most basic of ways.
The ACLU of Michigan is unique in that it one of the only ACLU state affiliates that has a project specifically devoted to the legal issues and concerns of the LGBT community, established in 2001.
For the past 13 years, the ACLU of Michigan has worked tirelessly to ensure that LGBT couples and families have the rights or will gain the rights to practice their love and raise their families the same as everyone else. We will continue to work tirelessly until every couple and every family in Michigan is considered equal under the law, from the schoolhouse to the altar.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read more in our Marriage Matters series.
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