Cass officials want election on marriage amendment

Published 3:21 am Friday, January 23, 2004

By By JOHN EBY / Niles Daily Star
CASSOPOLIS -- The Cass County Board of Commissioners voted Thursday to place a proposal to amend the 1963 state constitution before the people.
The Michigan Legislature is considering passage of Senate Joint Resolution E, which authorizes a vote on a constitutional amendment to provide that "…(O)nly marriage between one man and one woman shall be recognized as a marriage or its legal equivalent by the state, its political subdivisions or educational institutions under Article VIII, regardless of whether such a relationship is recognized by the laws of any jurisdiction outside of this state."
Commissioners, in Resolution 11 of 2004, said this is a "matter of public interest that ought to be submitted to a vote of the people."
They directed that copies of their resolution be sent to Gov. Jennifer Granholm, state Sen. Ron Jelinek, R-Three Oaks, state Reps. Rick Shaffer, R-Three Rivers, and Neal Nitz, R-Baroda, and the Michigan Association of Counties in Lansing.
Commissioner Terri Kitchen, R-Silver Creek Township, read a statement explaining her vote for the constitutional amendment against the background of her "personal experience" of being raised by a gay father who died of AIDS.
Commissioner David Taylor, D-Edwardsburg, and an attorney, cast the only vote against the resolution. He suggested the amendment would be unconstitutional.