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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U.S. appeals court in Cincinnati key to how and where gay marriage advances

| Thursday, October 9, 2014
The Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse in Cincinnati is the home of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The court heard arguments in six same-sex marriage cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. A ruling in those cases is pending.
CINCINNATI -- After a series of developments on same-sex marriage this week, there's growing anticipation for a ruling by the federal appeals court based in Cincinnati. A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments two months ago on challenges to gay marriage bans in four states. Its eventual ruling could help...

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Nuns to reconsider school policies regarding decision to fire gay teacher

| Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Barbara Webb (left) and her wife Kristen Lasecki in Madison Heights, Mich.
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. -- The Catholic nuns who operate a suburban Detroit school plan to re-examine policies regarding the decision to fire a gay teacher after she became pregnant. Sister Mary Jane Herb, president of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, said in a letter to Marian High School alumnae Monday that the congregation ...

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Jimmy Carter on LGBT rights: Jesus didn’t discriminate

| Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Jimmy-Carter
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter drew cheers Monday for his remarks supporting human rights and the LGBT community. Carter, 89, speaking to a packed house at Grand Rapids Community College, responded to one particular question about LGBT rights, and had this response: "I never knew of any word or action of...

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Marriage News Watch: More states waiting for Supreme Court on marriage rulings

| Monday, September 22, 2014
Cynthia Wides, right, and Elizabeth Carey exchange wedding vows at City Hall in San Francisco, Saturday, June 29, 2013.
A surprising reveal this week from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg about the court's plans for taking up a marriage case -- or maybe not taking up any. An Arkansas clerk breaks ranks with top state officials, declaring for the first time that the state's marriage ban is unconstitutional. Plus: numerous states freeze their marriage lawsuits...

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Macomb County, Mich., passes LGBT anti-discrimination policy

| Friday, September 19, 2014
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MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. -- Macomb County authorities have passed a policy protecting county employees from discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. The county Board of Commissioners voted 8-5 for the change on Thursday. Commissioner Fred Miller spearheaded the policy initiative and says it will ensure county employees are ...

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Lesbian teacher says pregnancy got her fired from Catholic school

| Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Barbara Webb (left) and her wife Kristen Lasecki in Madison Heights, Mich.
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. -- A former chemistry teacher at a suburban Detroit Catholic high school said she was fired for becoming pregnant after marrying her same-sex partner. Barbara Webb, 33, of Madison Heights said she was fired from the all-girls Marian High School in August after working there for nine years. She notified employers of her pregnancy in July.

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Detroit police arrest man accused of shooting partner, burning down house

| Friday, August 29, 2014
crime-scene
DETROIT – Police in Detroit, Mich., have arrested a man who allegedly shot his partner and burned down their house to hide the evidence. The suspect, identified by police as Edwardo Ross, allegedly shot his 42-year-old partner, James Foxhall, in their Detroit home on Aug. 15, then dumped Foxhall's body in the city's Palmer Park.

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Detroit police investigating three shootings against LGBT residents

| Friday, August 22, 2014
Palmer-Park-Detroit
DETROIT -- Police in Detroit, Mich., are investigating three potentially related violent crimes against LGBT people in the city's sprawling Palmer Park. The attacks have left one victim dead and two others injured after a series of shootings in recent weeks.

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Mich. same-sex couples seek state recognition of their marriages

| Thursday, August 21, 2014
Michigan
DETROIT -- A lawyer urged a judge Thursday to order Michigan to recognize hundreds of same-sex marriages performed during a brief window in March, saying the unions were valid even if a higher court eventually reinstates the state's ban on gay marriage. "The state cannot mandatorily divorce you," University of Michigan law professor Julian Mortenson said during a...

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Report: Marriage equality would add $53 million, new jobs to Mich. economy

| Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Brianne Bowen, The Ann Arbor News (AP)Mark Thiesmeyer and Matt Hook of Ann Arbor get married by Rev. Roger Pohl after more than 12 years together outside the Washtenaw County Administration Building in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, March 22, 2014, the day after a federal court struck down Michigan's ban on gay marriage.
Extending marriage to same-sex couples in Michigan would generate an estimated $53.2 million in spending to the state’s economy and generate over 500 new jobs over three years, according to a new study. Researchers at the Williams Institute, an independent think tank at UCLA’s School of Law, estimates that — based on 2010 U.S. Census data...

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