Despite that same-sex marriage ruling, Michigan cities are more tolerant of LGBT equality

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Following the recent Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision to uphold Michigan's 2004 constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, the general consensus among the LGBT community seemed to be that it was yet another strike against our state, and even more cause for the "brain drain" of young people from the region. But a new study suggests that despite the state's backwards stance on marriage equality, Michigan has a few cities that fare better in terms of LGBT rights.

The Human Rights Campaign today released its third annual report assessing equality in 353 cities nationwide, including nine in Michigan. Its findings show that several Michigan cities continue to lead the way in LGBT rights, despite Michigan's Municipal Equality Index of 57 out of 100 points (lagging behind the national average of 59). Ann Arbor earned an 83, Detroit a 74, Lansing a 64, and East Lansing a 100 — one of only 38 cities nationwide to earn a perfect score.

Other Michigan cities fared much lower, however. Despite its reputation as the metro Detroit's gayborhood, Ferndale only earned a 57. Grand Rapids only earned a 59, Pleasant Ridge a 44, Sterling Heights a 24, and Warren a 10.

The full report can be found at www.hrc.org/mei.

Another silver lining, though: As our main man Jack Lessenberry recently pointed out, thanks to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, "we now have two diametrically opposed sets of opinions from two different sets of federal appeals courts" — thus guaranteeing that the U.S. Supreme Court will have to take a stance on the matter once and for all. Currently, 32 states support same-sex marriage.

And another silver lining: The dissenting judge's scathing takedown of the ruling is some great reading.


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