This week's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act and negate California's voter-approved Proposition 8, is sure to have a ripple effect.
A ripple that many predict will affect Michigan in short order. Within hours of Wednesday's ruling, word came of a petition drive in the state to put a measure on the 2016 ballot that would overturn Michigan's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
The ban was affirmed by voters nearly ten years ago. In anticipation of the High Court's ruling, minority Democrats in both the State House and Senate have introduced a package of bills which includes a joint resolution to change the constitution to allow gay marriage.
As expected, Republicans at the state level are taking a different view. Republican Attorney General Bill Shuette said the Supreme Court ruling has no effect on Michigan's ban. In a statement, Shuette said the ruling "affirmed that states, not the federal government, retain the constitutional authority to define marriage."
No doubt more voices will be heard throughout Michigan on this highly emotional issue. However one voice which probably will not be heard is the one which should be the loudest ... Governor Rick Snyder.
Snyder has refused to make public his stand on Michigan's gay marriage ban and the efforts to repeal it. In an interview last month on Mackinac Island, Snyder, a Republican, rejected questions on the topic insisting he is focused on children and jobs.
We feel it is time the Governor took a stand on this issue. True, the Governor ran on a promise of economic growth and fiscal responsibility and he has lived up to those campaign promises. But governing requires attention to all pertinent issues, not a select few. The citizens of Michigan have a right to know where their governor stands on social issues as well.
Attorney General Shuette and leaders of both parties in both chambers have made their position on key social issues such as this one known. We feel it is time for Governor Snyder to show the strength of his convictions and do likewise.