Skubick: Same-sex marriage ruling sets in motion political showdown

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has legalized gay marriage, what about the laws on Michigan’s books that may be at odds with that?

Lansing barrister Richard McLellan chairs the Michigan Law Revision Commission. It’s task is to ferret out laws that may be out of date or out of sync with U.S. Supreme Court ecisions.

When the high court tossed out Michigan’s ban on gay marriage last friday, Mr. Mclellan discovered there were 199 on the books affecting marriage he says the Supreme Court’s decision will take care of those and no legislative action is needed But 132 sections dealing with wives and 149 with husbands and lawmakers may or may not address that and if they don’t he predicts chaos.

Reporter: “Do the lawmakers have an option not to do that after the Supreme Court decision?”
Richard McLellan, Lansing attorney: “Yes they do.”

The governor has pledged that his administration will work to comply with the Supreme Court decision but there’s another issue sitting out there, the Elliott Larson Civil Rights Law.

Under the Supreme Court decision marriage is already covered by that but discrimination in jobs, housing, and education are not and lawmakers are not obligated to change the law.

“It’s discrimination on the job, in public accommodations with respect to marital status we do not prohibit discrimination on the base of LGBT status in public accommodations, or employment or education,” said McLellan.

This senate democrat anticipates a fight over Elliott Larson

“That is going to be the biggest the marriages laws are already fixed by this decision there are a group of other laws that I think common sense would say we have to fix or we’re just going to end up in a lot of law suits, I think Elliott Larson is going to be the biggest fight and I look forward to it,” said State Senator Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D), Lansing.

It’s unclear when all this will come to a head in the Legislature.

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