Gibbs to co-chair Michigan for Marriage campaign

Posted Oct 6, 2014

[Michigan for Marriage press release] As Michigan awaits a historic marriage equality ruling from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, a bipartisan group of respected state leaders has stepped forward to Co-Chair Michigan for Marriage, the state’s marriage equality campaign. The public education campaign, which launched in May, aims to broaden the marriage conversation across the state, showcase the diversity of Michiganders who support marriage equality, and send the message that Michigan is ready for marriage.

The co-chairs are The Right Reverend Wendell N. Gibbs, Jr., the Tenth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan; Congressman Dan Kildee; former Republican Speaker of the House Chuck Perricone; and AFL-CIO President Karla Swift.“Same-sex couples love each other, raise children and support their families no differently than opposite-sex couples,” said Co-Chair Karla Swift. “The government’s refusal to recognize these relationships deprives thousands of Michigan families the ability to take care of and provide for their family members.”

Polls have shown growing support for same-sex marriage. A Washington Post/ABC News poll released in March found an all-time-high 59 percent of Americans are now in favor of allowing same-sex couples to marry. And in a sign that their is bipartisan support, a New York Times/CBS News poll found that 56 percent of Republicans under the age of 45 support marriage equality.

The announcement comes as families across Michigan await a decision from the Sixth Circuit Court in DeBoer v. Snyder, the state’s marriage equality case. The DeBoer case highlighted the number of challenges same-sex couples face when raising children in a state where marriage equality is barred.

“’I’m proud to stand with the majority of Michiganders in favor of equal rights for loving couples in our state, and I look forward to the day – hopefully real soon – where our nation’s laws that discriminate against gays and lesbians are tossed aside,” said Michigan for Marriage Co-Chair and Congressman Dan Kildee. “Everyone’s love should be recognized and equal.”

“In my opinion, picking and choosing whose rights should be protected or which civil rights the church will support is neither American “justice for all” nor supported by the God of salvation history,” said Co-Chair Episcopal Bishop Wendell N. Gibbs. “I stand in support of marriage equality and pray that our justice system will work to break down the walls of segregation, promote the humanity of all and calm our irrational fears.”