State: $40,000 for gay marriage trial experts

Michigan has spent about $40,000 so far on experts whose testimony at a trial over gay marriage was panned as a "fringe viewpoint" by the judge.
AP Wire
Mar 25, 2014

The attorney general's office went outside the state, and even to Canada, to find conservative social scientists and economists who could defend Michigan's ban on gay marriage.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman threw out the 2004 ban as unconstitutional Friday, but a higher court suspended the decision, at least temporarily, after dozens of couples were married Saturday. More action from the appeals court is expected this week.

The state has paid $39,478.75 to experts, and some additional bills "have not yet been sent in," Joy Yearout, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Bill Schuette, told The Associated Press.

Besides testifying at the trial, the witnesses gave depositions and prepared reports for the state. They were Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas, Joseph Price of Brigham Young University, Loren Marks of Louisiana State University and Doug Allen of Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. Much of their testimony centered on the well-being of children raised by same-sex couples versus households led by a man and a woman.

The judge said he couldn't give the testimony of Marks, Price and Allen "any significant weight."

"They, along with Regnerus, clearly represent a fringe viewpoint that is rejected by the vast majority of their colleagues across a variety of social science fields," Friedman said in his 31-page decision.

Regnerus claimed children with a parent who had a same-sex relationship at some point had problems in employment and education in future years. The study has been widely criticized, even by his colleagues at Texas.

"The court finds Regnerus' testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration," Friedman said.

 

Comments

Lanivan

This is an example of work by special-interest groups of social conservatives who have formed a number of interrelated organizations based on Dominion Theories of government - that laws should be based on biblical laws. It is a sort of Christian nationalism that actually erodes the concepts of freedom and democracy upon which the Constitution was written.

The Founding Fathers, when producing the Constitution as the Rule of Law, very specifically rejected the idea of basing the document on biblical law, instead embracing the secular concepts of tolerance, the freedom to follow any religion, and, most importantly, the freedom for all people to be considered free and equal under the law.

The State of Michigan is recruiting these people - at a cost to Michigan taxpayers - to coerce the outcome, based on the theocratic agenda of social conservatives who want to pervert the Constitution, erode religious freedom, and democracy. These social conservative groups are made of primarily wealthy, corporate, and religious right individuals; some of the most active nationally are Michigan residents.

They have real skin in this game, and are determined to aggressively manipulate and erode religious freedom and democracy, in defiance of the national trend of greater tolerance and acceptance of same sex marriage, currently around 53%, up from 27% just a few years ago.

Barry Soetoro

Wow Lani. You really lit 'em up this time. Well done. With all this hate and anger perhaps we should hold an impromptu Beer Summit this Friday. Call the ball...

Lanivan

It's all your fault. You told me I was a pretty good writer, and I believe what you tell me Barry. I'll get back to you on the time, date, and ball....

Barry Soetoro

Snug Harbor has Huma Lupa on tap...

Vladtheimp

This sounds as paranoid as Hillary's supporters who asserted that Obama wasn't born in the United States.

The Founding Fathers were generally religious, with some adhering to some degree of Deism, but they hardly embraced "secular concepts" of tolerance, freedom to follow any religion, and all people being free and equal under the law. The main purpose of the Constitution was to create a form of government that recognized the rights of the states and the citizens, who had to cede limited powers to a central government for the good of the whole. It is, as recognized by Barack Obama, a document of negative powers. "Tolerance", like "God" is never mentioned. Freedom of religion is expressed as a limitation on the powers of the government, as are all of the Bill of Rights.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The "freedom for all people to be considered free and equal under the law" is oddly expressed:

Article I, Section 2 Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

Article IV, Section. 2.
No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.

"Dominionism" is just another left-wing construct to attack Christians. You miss the mark when you follow up your definition of Dominion Theory of Government with your next paragraph asserting the Founding Fathers based the Constitution on secularism; they based it on Natural Law and the Social Compact or Contract, with which all were extremely familiar. http://www.constitution.org/socl...

Lanivan

I chose my words carefully, for this very reason - it all seems so paranoid and crazy. The Constitution, and of course you must know this - I'm not telling you anything new - is based very much on Enlightenment theory that, at least for John Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Franklin, was a major philosophy in which they were immersed. At the time the Constitution was written, there was no single national faith acknowledged by all the Founding Fathers. Their religious beliefs were as varied as their political opinions. It is the most fascinating aspect of the whole affair. It is also what makes the recent rise of Christian Nationalism based on dominion theology essentially an attempt to pervert the spirit of the document.

Christianity is a religion. Christian Nationalism is a political program. As such, it actually denies the Enlightenment roots of American democracy; it promotes the religious supremacy of Christianity, especially certain versions of it; and, it distorts the Constitution by making it become merely a vehicle for implementing biblical principles.

Your argument that Dominionism is a left-wing construct to attack Christians is false. Dominionism is a theology used by Christian Nationalists to usurp American secular government, and along with it, the Constitution.

A good book I've recently read: The Faiths of Our Fathers: What America's Founders Really Believed, Alf j. Mapp, Jr.

dyankee

Lan, your writing is an example of special interest in the support of this dysfunctional issue of gay marriage. Lets call it what it is, shall we?

Less than 3% of the U.S. population is gay. This means, over 97% is not! An overwhelmingly epic majority of our City, County, State, and Country do NOT support gay marriage. We disagree with the concept, we voted on it, and it was impeccably clear of the rejection by the people of this abnormal behavior.

If you are refusing to accept the overwhelming vote of the people then, whom is it, that is being intolerant, perverting our Constitution, and eroding our religious freedoms, and democracy?

Most will tell you(including me) that we do not care what the LGBT community does in the privacy of their own home, but when you force this issue down our throats, judge shop until one can be found to overturn the vote of the people, and demand our kids are brainwashed in our education system to somehow think a man laying next to another man is normal, is where our tolerance will end.

BTL2A

According to this majority of people do support gay marriage.
http://m.washingtonpost.com/poli...

Not sure where you get your stats from. All yours did was show most people are not gay, has nothing to do with support.

Lanivan

Hey d! I've been worried about you, but I give a sigh of relief to see you are as cantankerous as ever. Glad to hear from you.

This is all your fault. You, and Wing, and Vlad all inspired and prodded me to do something I should have done years ago, but found it too dry in those salad days. I started studying the Constitution and the men who made it happen. (Disclosure: I was also motivated when in my genealogy studies I found out I'm a direct descendent of one of the (minor) players - big whoop) It influenced me a great deal, and helped me sort out a number of issues, especially same sex marriage. For years, I had conflicting opinions on it, as did a majority of Americans. But now I have come to better understand what values this country really were founded on, and have come to accept, as the majority of Americans are now doing, that government has no business whatsoever defining marriage, or allowing religious beliefs to dictate the Constitutional Rule of Law, or rulings by our Federal Courts.

In this country, you have the right and freedom to hold and express your beliefs on same sex marriage. In this country, you have the right and freedom to live by any religious belief you might have. But it is exactly that - your beliefs - and has no bearing on equality under the Constitution. The Constitution is a document written based on the Enlightenment, the fundamental right to freedom to believe in any religion, and the separation of Church and State.

dyankee

Hey L, Glad to hear you're reading the Constitution...it's your first step towards recovery from those pesky liberal tendencies that catapult you, at times, smack dab into the middle of the Vlad-a-Wing-Yankee Highway.(remember, the correct way to travel on any highway in life is to stay to the right ;) In addition, if you can grasp the Founding Father's vision of having a Judicial Branch only interpret law and not create it then, you will be on your way.

I agree the Government has no business whatsoever defining marriage nor does the Courts....in a free society, clearly, it is the people that should decide when involving tax payer monies or benefits and the individual and their maker when in the privacy of their own home.

Likewise, the Government ought not mandate a product for me to purchase, as well or dictate what type of light bulb I can purchase or SUV I can drive. The Government has no business telling my how big my slurpee should be, deny me the right to own a firearm, pay for contraceptives, sick the IRS on anyone due to their political beliefs, and disgustingly protecting a women's right to choose while denying an infant child the same freedoms.

By way of correction, we are loosing the right and freedom to hold and express your beliefs on same sex marriage. Just ask our President, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Healing Racism Nazi's and SitdownGH.

In addition the Constitution was based on more than Enlightenment, it was based on morality and Judea Christian values and the belief that we are endowed by our creator and not Government...you're on the right track Lan, keep reading....good talk.

Lanivan

Thanks for the advice. While traveling down the road of life in my LaniVan, I will remember to lean right while hugging the center line, except in the British Isles, where I have no option but to travel to the left! That darn Republican Bush and that energy light bulb law of 2007! Millions of dollars in energy savings be dammed! (by the way, you can buy any bulb you want....been in Home Depot lately? Too. Many. Choices.)

dyankee

Ford Lanivan! Get on the autobahn...that is the only place I know that staying left is any fun.

You're right Lan(wow, that tasted like vinegar)George Bush did sign the energy light bulb bill in 2007(I'm impressed with your google talents)and this is one of many reasons this President is under my skin, as well.

The problem is this little know element called MERCURY!!!!!! Duh, let's dump mercury in every landfill in America that way, 25 years from now people with well water will have horns growing out of their heads.

There is no savings with a curly bulb because people leave them on longer thinking they're cheaper to run and when adding the environmental cost to their disposal it becomes a hazard. However, most Americans feel good about it because they think they're doing something good for the environment....kinda like recycling, which is another asinine & totally useless proceedure once they realize where most of this plastic garbage ends up.(and it's not in a package with triangular arrows.)

Home Depot? Next time you're there, try to find 100 watt then, get back to me. See you at the next topic.

ChitownGH

dyankee. You seem like a very misinformed and ignorant individual. I pity you. First of all, numerous studies have shown that 19% of population does not identify as heterosexual. Even if a small fraction of those people turn out to be actually gay, your numbers are completely unfounded. Even if it is a small portion of the population, why should that matter? Was slavery OK because African Americans were only a small portion of the population? Idiotic statement on your behalf. But considering your standpoint, I wouldn't be surprised if you were pro-slavery.

Additionally, I find it funny that you believe the 'overwhelmingly epic majority' are against gay marriage. Are you aware that NO poll has shown less than 50% support for gay marriage? As shocking as this may be to your pea-sized brain, this even includes those studies from extreme religious freaks (like yourself). In fact, many studies have found support up to 80%.

I find it funny that you think the government is infringing on your religious freedom. What exactly has the government done to infringe on this freedom? Please, give me an example (I need a good laugh). Allowing individuals of the same sex does not infringe on YOUR religious freedom at all. If you want to continue to be a judgmental and hateful person and cite your religion as a defense, that is completely within your religious freedom. Nothing in this debate or legislation will offend that in any way.

Also, the gay marriage ban vote occurred in 2004 and was barely passed at 58% of the vote. Again - far from an 'epic' majority. Do you really think a vote of the people of Michigan would yield the same results? Don't kid yourself. The vote would pass in favor of gay marriage with at least 60% of the vote.

You're a fool and I'm embarrassed that I come from the same town as hicks like you. Go back to your shanty. I pray your kids do not accept your ignorance and stupidity.

dyankee

ChitownGH, Thank you for your tolerance, inclusiveness, renewal, openness, and willingness to listen to opinions of others in such a diversified manner.

ChitownGH

I'm not willing to listen to someone who is posting false facts.

dyankee

Then, why was gay marriage profoundly rejected by millions of voters across our State and Country? Answer: Precisely because the people do not support it. Not rocket science BTL2A.

You actually believe the Washingtoncompost represents the will of the people? For you younger readers...this is called "spin"

ChitownGH

dyankee: Did you see my post? I state the relevant part again: the gay marriage ban vote occurred in 2004 and was barely passed at 58% of the vote. Far from an 'epic' majority. Do you really think a vote of the people of Michigan would yield the same results in 2014? Don't kid yourself. The vote would pass in favor of gay marriage with at least 60% of the vote.

You're a fool and I'm embarrassed that I come from the same town as hicks like you. Go back to your shanty. I pray your kids do not accept your ignorance and stupidity.

happycamper

I state the relevant part again: the gay marriage ban vote occurred in 2004 and was barely passed at 58% of the vote. whats make you think that number has changed, maybe there should be a new vote on the issue, after all, it been 10 years, both of you crack me up, pulling numbers from your hat

ChitownGH

happycamper: How can you believe that the vote from 2004 would be anyway indicative of a vote in 2014. Are you aware of the social climate changes over the past 10 years across the nation? And my numbers are not pulled from a hat. Numerous studies have shown significant support and substantial growth in favor of gay marriage, specifically in Michigan. See below:

A November 2012 Michigan State University poll found support for gay marriage in Michigan had increased significantly. The survey found that 56% of the state’s residents supported gay marriage while 39% opposed it.

A May 2013 Glengariff Group poll found that 57% of Michigan residents support same-sex marriage while 38% oppose. The poll also found at least 90% of the state's voters favor some legal protections for LGBT people and 65% favor legal changes permitting civil unions, adoption, inheritance rights, hate crime protections, and domestic benefits. The poll was conducted from May 8-10, 2013 and had a margin of error of 4 points.

Nearly a year later, in February 2014, another Glengariff Group poll found that 56% of Michigan residents support same-sex marriage while 34% oppose, and 59% believe that Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage passed by voters in 2004 is unconstitutional. Additionally, 63% support recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states.

A February 2014 Michigan State University (MSU) poll found that 54% of Michigan residents support allowing same-sex couples to marry, while 36% are opposed. 10% are unsure. The poll had a margin of error of 3 points. Support for allowing same-sex couples to marry was highest among those 30 and younger at 68%, while 47% of those age 65 and older were supportive. The study also found that 59% also supported same-sex couple adopting children.

The times they are a changin'. Any other questions?

happycamper

so you did some digging, thanks for the update, but those study are conclusive and done by groups, let the population of the state decide .

ChitownGH

Obviously a study polls only a small fraction of the State. But there is no need to put this issue to a vote. It is a Constitutional issue. It should be interpreted by the Courts. This is the point of the Court system. The Court has spoken. No need for a vote. Just like there was no need to vote on slavery, no need to vote on anti-segregation, no need to vote on women's rights issues, etc.

dyankee

2004 Michigan referendum vote banning of gay marriage: To secure and preserve the benefits of marriage for our society and for future generations of children, the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose.[3]

58.63% Yes
41.37% No
63.36% Voter Turnout

Once again, this is an overwhelming majority of people that do NOT support gay marriage.

November 6, 2012 Voting Results: Obama 51.1% Romney 47.2% Hmm' perhaps, we should redo this election too.

ChitownGH

Again dyankee, why are your relying on a 10 year old vote? It is not relevant. The vote has surely swung in favor of same sex marriage over the past 10 years.

Additionally, when the masses are misinformed and ignorant they should not be allowed to vote. What if prior civil rights issues (slavery, black voting rights, women voting rights) were decided by a popular vote? It would have likely taken much longer for those issues to rightfully be passes. The majority was ignorant and misinformed at the time.

I do not think the majority is now, but it is people like you that should not be allowed to vote on this issue. You are discriminating against a class of people for no reason at all. You are a shameful human.

Barry Soetoro

Comparing SSM to slavery makes you look ignorant and misinformed. Just sayin. Your handle is appropriate though - nice!

ChitownGH

Barry, as you must be aware from reading my post, I did not compare SSM with slavery. I compared the mindset of the ignorant masses, like yourself, who refuse to accept the rights of others and respect every man equally. Also, I don't understand the handle comment.

ChitownGH

Also, I shouldn't be responding to someone with the name 'Barry Soetoro' anyway. It is clear all logic and reason bypasses that pea-sized organ in your skull. Now, go back under your bridge Troll. Go on now.

Barry Soetoro

That's right, you shouldn't respond but you did. You can't help yourself. Lanivan feels your pain. Thanks for signing up today. You've made quite a first impression. Please don't limit your wisdom sharing to only articles about SSM. I look forward to reading your comments.

Barry S.

Tri-cities realist

Barry, I believe the "i" is a long vowel as in shytown, not a short vowel, as in "sh1t do I really have to explain this to someone who claims Barry is a troll with a pea-sized brain". But I know you already know that. Hopefully this helps Chitown understand that Barry is actually quite clever and funny, in additional to many other (alleged) things.

Barry Soetoro

But now I've gone and tweaked Lani one too many times and she has put the kibosh on the Beer Summit. I'm pretty torn up about the whole thing.

Lanivan

I feel awful about this. It's just how I roll - call me foggy-headed one too many times, and I have a tendency to break off beer summits. Sorry. Bad breeding.

I've taken the liberty of setting you up with Attorney General Bill Schuette to take my place.....he seems to have lots of money - and deep pockets - and just think of the fun you will have insulting cloudy Lani!

Hipahipa Huma Lupa-Licious!!

Pages

Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on GrandHavenTribune.com? Create a new account today to get started.