- MCC and USCCB File Amicus Briefs in Michigan Marriage Case
- Senate Committee Passes Measures to Protect Human Trafficking Victims
- Revenue Estimating Conference Reports Lower Than Expected Revenue for State
MCC and USCCB File Amicus Briefs in Michigan Marriage Case
On Wednesday, May 14, Michigan Catholic Conference filed an amicus brief on behalf of the diocesan Catholic bishops in the state to defend the 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The amendment was struck down in March by U.S. District Court Judge Bernard Friedman, but was shortly thereafter put back into effect following a stay from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) also filed an amicus brief in this case, joining with the National Association of Evangelicals, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. MCC President and CEO, Paul Long, issued the following statement regarding the briefs:
“We have made this legal contribution to preserve and promote the time-honored institution of marriage that brings man and woman together in a unique way for children and for the common good. The Catholic Church holds strongly to her teachings that those with same-sex attraction should be treated with respect and sensitivity, and that marriage can only be recognized as the union of one man and one woman. The legal briefs make clear that support for natural marriage does not impugn the dignity that must be afforded to all human persons, regardless of their orientation.”
The Circuit Court in Cincinnati is expected to deliberate the case after both the plaintiffs and the state attorney general complete their briefing process. To read MCC’s press release on the filing, click here.
Senate Committee Passes Measures to Protect Human Trafficking Victims
The Senate Committee on Families, Seniors and Human Services unanimously approved several human trafficking measures this week. Senate Bills 205 and 206, sponsored by Senators Judy Emmons (R-Sheridan) and Tonya Schuitmaker (R-Lawton), increase penalties for individuals who solicit sex from a minor under age sixteen. House Bill 5025, sponsored by Representative Kurt Heise (R-Plymouth), allows prostitution charges to be expunged for victims of human trafficking and keeps victims’ names off of the sex offender registry list. Finally, House Bill 5239, sponsored by Representative Ken Kurtz (R-Coldwater), requires any employee within the Department of Human Services to report child abuse involving human trafficking. Michigan Catholic Conference is supportive of these four bills and will continue to urge their adoption by the full Senate. Click here to read a recent FOCUS publication from Michigan Catholic Conference on human trafficking.
Revenue Estimating Conference Reports Lower Than Expected Revenue for State
This week, the House Fiscal Agency, Senate Fiscal Agency, and the Michigan Department of Treasury came together for the Revenue Estimating Conference to determine the status of revenue in the state. According to their findings, revenue estimates for the overall General Fund in 2013–2014 and 2014–2015 are down by $473.7 million from those estimates gathered in January. The drop in estimated revenue is likely to play a significant role in the ongoing budget discussions for 2014–2015, and Michigan Catholic Conference will continue to monitor the impact this development will play on necessary policies of concern to MCC.
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