New & Noteworthy:

Michigan

Michigan is the 26th U.S. state, admitted to the Union on Jan. 26, 1837. Its most populous city is Detroit, and the state capitol is located in Lansing.

LGBT Rights in Michigan: A constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions was approved by voters in November 2004. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is prohibited in government employment, but there are no other state-wide protections, although more than 30 municipalities have adopted their own LGBT-inclusive ordinances. State hate crimes law does not include enhanced penalties based on the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Michigan has no statutory ban on same-sex couples adopting, however state courts have ruled that unmarried individuals may not jointly petition to adopt.

Current challenge to Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban: DeBoer v. Snyder

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Mich. organization to match donations for agencies serving LGBT community

Sunday, December 7, 2014
Michigan2
A Michigan-based philanthropic organization has launched a matching gift program for a fund that supports projects at nonprofit agencies serving the area's LGBT community. [...]

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Michigan House approves ‘license to discriminate’ religious freedom bill

Thursday, December 4, 2014
Michigan
LANSING, Mich. -- A bill that supporters say would protect people's right to exercise their religious beliefs free from government overreach has won approval from the Michigan House. The Republican-led House voted 59-50 along party lines Thursday to move the legislation to the Senate, just hours after it was approved [...]

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Mich. House lawmakers adjourn hearing without voting on anti-LGBT bias bill

Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Michigan state capitol in Lansing.
LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan lawmakers have adjourned a historic legislative hearing without voting on a measure that would update the state's anti-discrimination law to include protections for LGBT citizens. [...]

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Detroit nurses challenging Michigan gay marriage ban adopt 4th child

Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Hazel Park nurses April DeBoer, left and Jayne Rowse, kiss 2-year-old Rylee DeBoer-Rowse during Michigan Adoption Day at the Oakland County Court House in Pontiac, Mich., Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. The Detroit-area nurses, who are challenging Michigan's ban on gay marriage, finalized their adoption of Rylee, their fourth adopted child.
HAZEL PARK, Mich. -- Two Detroit-area nurses who are challenging Michigan's ban on gay marriage are raising a fourth adopted child. The adoption of 2-year-old Rylee DeBoer-Rowse became final in Oakland County on Tuesday, a day when adoptions were publicly celebrated across Michigan. [...]

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Michigan AG urges U.S. Supreme Court to hear gay marriage case

Tuesday, November 25, 2014
APAttorney General Bill Schuette (R-Mich.)
LANSING, Mich. -- Attorney General Bill Schuette and supporters of gay marriage have at least one thing in common: They want the U.S. Supreme Court to use a Michigan case to settle the legality of same-sex marriage. [...]

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Michigan civil rights commission urges protections for LGBT community

Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Michigan
LANSING, Mich. -- The Michigan Civil Rights Commission is calling on the state Legislature to prohibit discrimination against gays by passing civil rights protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. [...]

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Archbishop bans speaker from Catholic support group meeting at Detroit parish

Friday, November 21, 2014
Francis DeBernardo
DETROIT -- The Archdiocese of Detroit has banned a Catholic support group from using a Detroit parish for a meeting with a pro-gay rights speaker. The Detroit Free Press reports Archbishop Allen Vigneron prohibited a talk by Francis DeBernardo for Catholic families with gay members that was scheduled for Saturday. [...]

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Michigan, Kentucky couples take gay marriage cases to U.S. Supreme Court

Monday, November 17, 2014
WJBK-TVJayne Rowse (left) and April DeBoer are plaintiffs in a challenge to Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage.
WASHINGTON -- A same-sex couple from Michigan is putting the question of the right to marry nationwide squarely before the Supreme Court. The couple's plea to be allowed to marry was being filed Monday. It asks the justices to hold that state laws prohibiting same-sex couples from getting married violate [...]

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Mich. lawyers say appeals court ruling voids more than 300 same-sex marriages

Saturday, November 15, 2014
Marsha Caspar, 51, left, and Glenna DeJong, 53, of Lansing, Mich., sign documents March 22, 2014, before they were married at the Ingham County Courthouse in Mason, Mich.
DETROIT -- Attorneys for the state of Michigan argued on Friday that a federal appeals court ruling last week that upheld the state's ban on same-sex marriage invalidates the unions of 300 same-sex couples who were married earlier this year. [...]

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Michigan GOP bill to prohibit gay bias under fire for excluding gender identity

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Michigan
LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan Republicans on Wednesday proposed a long-awaited bill to prohibit discrimination against gays, though chances dimmed for legislative approval of the measure because of concerns that transgender people would not be protected. [...]

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