MCCC students apparently are more accepting of gays and lesbians being able to marry than the State of Michigan.
A federal judge on March 21, 2014 struck down the ban on lesbians and gays being allowed to marry in the state of Michigan, and samesex couples ran to the courts to become legal.
However, a few hours later the state issued a stay on the judge’s order until an appeal is heard.
That put a stop to any further marriages and put into question the marriages that had been performed.
“If I want to marry who I want, why is that so bad?” asked MCCC student James Quick.
Many students at MCCC are outraged by the stay on any further progress of gays being allowed to marry in the state of Michigan.
MCCC Student Government member Mandi Davis said she blames Gov. Rick Snyder.
“I’m highly furious at Snyder; we had it until he put this ban on it that I think is highly unconstitutional,” she said. “If straights are allowed to marry — we’re just like a straight person, except we love the same sex.”
To most, the appeal is a minor setback. The fact that some samesex couples were allowed to wed was a huge advancement for the LGBT community.
Currently, the appeal is on hold so same-sex couples are not allowed to marry, but those who have already wed are considered legal in the state of Michigan.
According to MCCC Political Science professor Joanna Sabo, it could go either way, but one possible outcome could be the Supreme Court waiting for more states to go through this same process to legalize gay marriage.
Once enough appeals are made, the Supreme Court could group the cases together and make a final ruling, she said.
“All the Supreme Court can do is look at the Constitution. If they believe that it says something that protects the right to marry someone of the same sex, the Supreme Court will prohibit states from disallowing same-sex marriage,” she said. “If the Court does not find anything in the Constitution that they believe defines marriage rights, they will leave the issue to be decided state by state, and states can do what they want.”
Gay-Straight Alliance Co-chair Jesiqua Hutchison says that this would be beneficial to her friends who are in a same-sex relationship, in more ways than just being considered legally married.
“There are a lot of different things effecting married but not legal couples,” she said. “There’s filing taxes, insurance, being able to legally take the last name or adopting children.”
She explained that it’s harder for a single person to legally adopt a child, especially if they are homosexual.
Many agencies would look at a homosexual relationship as more unstable than a married couple.
Jarrod Saum, a current MCCC student, said that his uncle was greatly affected by not being considered legally married.
After 10 years in a relationship, his partner decided to leave — leaving him with all the bills to pay. According to Jarrod, this put his uncle back financially about 20 years.
Because he wasn’t considered to be in a legal marriage, his uncle could not sue his ex.
“There was no legal finality of it,” he said.
Although many students aren’t aware of all the issues, they don’t mind that homosexual marriage could soon be a possibility.
“It’s like everybody in our generation is very liberal now a days and we’re raised around it, so it’s not a real shocker,” Saum said
. Even when the question of religion was brought up, student Devin Mataya disagreed with the association Christians have with being against any homosexual relationship.
“I think we should love every single person no matter what — everyone needs a little bit of love and kindness,” she said. “I’d add something about my faith too. but as soon as people learn that you are a Christian they write you off as a hypocritical gayhater, so I’ll just leave it at that.”
The only real concern some students have is with public displays of affection.
According to student Emily Piedmonte, it’s not limited to homosexual couples.
“You can love who you want, but I just don’t want to see,” she said.
April was Diversity Month at MCCC.
There were several panel discussions and other events focused on being an ally for diversity.
“I believe that as a nation, our strength is in our diversity,” MCCC President Kojo Quartey said at one of the events. “The reason that we’re the greatest nation in the world is because of our diversity.”