ANN ARBOR, MI, February 8, 2007 ( – Last week the Michigan Court of Appeals interpreted Michigan’s “Marriage Amendment,” as preventing state officials from recognizing same-sex “domestic partnerships.” The decision is the first time a state appellate court has interpreted Michigan’s Constitutional Amendment – enacted by a citizen’s petition drive.

  The Amendment provides “the union of one man and one women in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose.” The court decision will be binding throughout the state (unless overruled by Michigan’s Supreme Court). 

  In 2004, the Thomas More Law Center played a significant role in drafting the marriage amendment language at the request of the “Coalition For The Protection Of Marriage.” The Law Center then collaborated with the “Coalition For The Protection Of Marriage,” the “American Family Association of Michigan” and other pro-family groups to secure voter approval of the amendment.

  Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center commented, “Michigan’s Marriage Amendment makes Michigan one of 27 states in the union that have constitutional amendments protecting traditional marriage from activist judges and radical homosexual groups. We welcome this decision, which should prevent public officials from redefining the institution of marriage in the State of Michigan.  It is high time that state officials abide by the plain language of this constitutional amendment.”

  Patrick T. Gillen, the Law Center attorney who participated in drafting the language of the Marriage Amendment noted, “The Court of Appeals did an admirable job applying the plain language of the amendment to the issue presented by the plaintiffs demand for recognition of same-sex domestic partnerships.  The traditional family unit is a unique institution that promotes the good of spouses, children who enter the family, and, ultimately, the common good.  We will continue our efforts to ensure that state officials respect the will of the people and the institution of marriage.”