Columns / Voices

COLUMN: It’s about time

I am baffled as to how the Republican party and other groups on the right will express their undying love and devotion to “God and Country,” and still not understand how civil liberties operate.

Recently, a federal court began hearing a Michigan case that will answer the questioned constitutionality of Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban that was introduced by public vote in 2004.

Vote Equal, a Grand Rapids native rights group, updated its Twitter and Facebook feed throughout the first day of the case hearing, documenting history in 140 words or less.

Nurses Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer are the plaintiffs in the case, fighting both against the marriage ban and the adoption ban on the basis of state discrimination.

The state of Michigan has brought up children’s rights and the impact of same-sex parents in a negative light, despite previous expert opinion.

What Michigan has not recognized, other than gay marriage since 2004, is the part of the U.S. constitution that explicitly states, “…nor shall any state deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

This means that unless there is a clear, legitimate reason, the state cannot – and should not – deny a person their civil rights.

History doesn’t just happen. A person acts, and the world reacts.

We are living in a time where we are not just seeing history being made, but we are on the front lines of changing it in the name of human rights.

However, caution should be taken when being optimistic in this case. Michigan in the recent years has become a cesspool for poor policy and legislation.

As students, this is our moment in history. The majority of my generation is on my side and I can only get more excited as we all cross the finish line together.

Gay marriage is not the only issue that is pertinent to the LGBTQ community, but the state might finally recognize the sanctity of all marriages – and it’s about time.

While systematic discrimination for LGBTQ employees is still rampant, we are here, ready to fight.

Liberation is coming.

Why? Not because of some old white judge, but because we are generationally done with gender policing. We are done asserting a heteropatriarchal normative culture – it’s a real thing, Google it.

I’ll end with a line from the civil rights movement, in the song “We Shall Overcome” – deep in my heart, I do believe we’re on to victory someday.


  1. The staff at Vote Equal would like to take a moment and thank you for the acknowledgment. We at Vote Equal work hard to make sure that we fight for what is right. We have been watching this trial since it has began and thus far remain in determined belief that equality is knocking on the door of the great state of Michigan.

  2. Brynn McDonnell says:

    If you enjoyed this column, please check out my Senate page!

  3. It’s much more effective to write these argumentative articles/essays without using strong words that start fights. Using language such as, “I am baffled” and, “Why? Not because of some old white judge” doesn’t make you sound intelligent. It makes you sound illogical and emotional and makes you appear unable to argue this case without calling everyone dumb and throwing rocks at them like kids do during recess.

    “Liberation is coming.” Michigan has much, much heavier and serious issues than gay marriage. Unfortunately, this is the only thing people seem to be fighting for.

  4. Florence Schneider says:

    This is a cheap, partisan attack. There are some Republicans who support Gay marriage and there are some Democrats who are vehemently opposed.

    Party labels on this – and most issues – are irrelevant. Both major parties are intellectually and ethically challenged as are people who only vote for one party.

  5. michmediaperson says:

    Brynn McDonnell may be the worst columnist in the 95 year history of this once great student newspaper.

    She uses NO facts to win over the readers.

    She blames Republicans.

    Brynn, if you did your homework you would learn it was Democrat Party President Bill Clinton (Hillary’s husband) that signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law banning homosexual marriage back in 1996. It was the Democrats!!!
    Democrats!!! Even Carl Levin voted for the bill. He didn’t want gay marriage either. Look at the roll call vote on the Internet.

    In 2004, hundreds of thousands of Democrats joined Independents and Republicans in a bi-partisan vote to ban gay marriage in Michigan.

    Up until about a year ago, Barack Hussein Obama was anti-gay marriage.

    Old White Judge??????? Brynn, have you done any research to see that a big majority of black ministers nationwide are anti-gay marriage.

    You haven’t done your homework. I would hope that the new CM LIFE advisor would sit down with you and explain that if you’re trying to sway your readers, then you need to do some research. You never bothered in a column two weeks ago to see what counseling opportunities were available and shrinks were adding comments about where one can go for counseling.

    Fact is a big majority of black ministers are anti-gay marriage. In fact, the black commmunity is still anti-gay marriage.

    Just some constructive criticism if you’re looking for a career in journalism.

    By the way, Brynn, should a CMU guy who wants to marry 3 CMU co-eds be granted a marriage license??? After all, it’s his civil rights and human rights??? Where do you stop???

    The Bible clearly states what marriage is: one man and one woman.

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