LANSING, Mich. (AP/WOOD) - The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in a gay marriage case from California doesn't have an immediate impact on Michigan's voter-approved ban.
The court didn't make a sweeping statement on the legality of gay marriage Wednesday. It let stand a trial judge's decision that the California ban is unconstitutional.
Michigan's gay marriage ban, which was approved in 2004 by nearly 59 percent of voters, is being challenged in Detroit federal court. Judge Bernard Friedman heard arguments in March but said he would wait for guidance from the Supreme Court before making a decision.
==Watch: Heather Garretson, an associate professor at Cooley Law School, discusses the implications of the same-sex marriage decision for Michiganders.==
The American Civil Liberties Union says key parts of another Supreme Court opinion on a federal marriage law could help it defeat Michigan's ban in Friedman's court.
Attorney General Bill Schuette, who supports the ban, says states have the power to define marriage.
"The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states, not the federal government, retain the constitutional authority to define marriage," he said in a statement. "Michigan's Constitution stands and the will of the people to define marriage as between one man and one woman endures in the Great Lakes State."
However, Democrats in the Michigan House of Representatives introduced bills this week that coincide with the high court's ruling that would change the state's constitution to allow same-sex marriage. Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate.
In 2004, the proposal defining marriage as between a man and a woman was approved by 59% of Michigan voters. The margins were even larger in all but one West Michigan county.
In Ottawa County, 73% of voters passed the proposal -- the third-largest percentage in the state. Kent, Allegan, Barry, Muskegon and Ionia counties were all above 60% approval.
The closest vote in West Michigan was in Kalamazoo County, where 54% of voters approved the measure.
- Allegan: 68%
- Barry: 67%
- Branch: 66%
- Calhoun: 60%
- Cass: 67%
- Ionia: 63%
- Kalamazoo: 54%
- Kent: 63%
- Montcalm: 67%
- Muskegon: 60%
- Newaygo: 68%
- Oceana: 64%
- Ottawa: 73%
A statewide poll done by WOOD TV8's Detroit affiliate WDIV and the Detroit News last month showed that support for same sex marriage in our state has changed drastically, with 57% now in support. That is 16 points higher than the 2004 vote.
2013 WDIV/Detroit News Poll
- Support 57%
- Against 37%
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