The debate over homosexual marriage rages on in Michigan, as 25 leading Republicans recently signed a brief in support of throwing out the state's ban on same-sex marriage, the Lansing Journal reports.
The coalition of 15 Republicans, including former lawmakers and staffers, write that they "generally believe that while government should play a limited role in the lives of Americans, it must act when individual liberties are at stake.
"As various states have legalized civil marriage for same-sex couples, undersigned Amici, like many Americans, have examined the emerging evidence and have concluded that there is no legitimate, fact-based reason for denying same sex couples the same recognition in law that is available to opposite-sex couples," the brief said.
The brief was signed by 15 former members of either the state or U.S. House of Representatives, including former Speaker of the House Rick Johnson, of LeRoy, U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz, of Battle Creek, and state Rep. Chris Ward of Howell.
Pastor Stacy Swimp of Revive Alive Ministries and spokesperson for a coalition of over 200 Black Pastors and Christian leaders from outstate Michigan took aim at the hypocrisy of the Republicans in question.
"How ironic that so called Republicans, whose party platform allegedly advocates the constitutional principles of limited government, would file a brief in support of marriage redefinition, which has attached to it the nefarious agenda of discriminating against the individual freedom of Christians who decline to endorse homosexual behavior,' said Swimp.
Also adding her name to the brief seeking to redefine marriage is Jennifer Gratz, who led the efforts to ban affirmative action at the University of Michigan.
"I am against special preferences based on race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, and sexual orientation- namely for heterosexuals," she writes.
However, Pastor Rodeny McTaggert of Bread of Life Ministries in Saginaw, Michigan, says that politicians who fought against affirmation action for Blacks, yet advocate for special preferences for homosexuals are guilty of discrimination.
"Mrs. Gratz is obviously confused as she desires to defend the rights of the approximate 1.4% homosexual population at the expense of the 98.6% heterosexual population," said McTaggert.
"Perversion has never been acceptable in a moral society, but now she desires to see it not only be accepted, but also promoted in our judicial system, schools and halls of higher education ultimately receiving special privileges. Is that not what she just fought against?" he continued.
Pastor Leonard Jackson of Beth-El Community Church of God in Detroit, Michigan agrees, saying the Republican brief is blatantly racist.
"It comes as no surprise that Republicans, such as Jennifer Gratz and Leon Drolet- who ran the anti-affirmative action campaign in Michigan and Arizona- have revealed themselves as a morally bankrupt racists," said Jackson.
"This is demonstrated by their focus on gutting civil rights for Blacks and replacing them with special preferences for homosexuals."
Michigan's ban on same sex marriage has been in place since 2004, passed by voters with a 59-41% margin. However, Federal Judge Bernard Friedman controversially struck down the ban on March 21, and for a day in Michigan, same sex marriage was legal, allowing 299 couples to marry. State Attorney General Bill Schuette appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals and asked them to halt the marriages until they could hear the case.
Despite the ongoing battle, the pastors say they are not discouraged by the Republicans who have joined in to redefine marriage.
"Imagine if our forefathers had started out with the same abominable, despicable concept of marriage as these groups have today. We would have no society," states Elder Dr. Rader Johnson of Greater Bibleway Temple, Bay City, Michigan. "So I say to those who promote this wayward anti-Christ agenda of marriage redefinition to cease and desist your destructive, confused, anti-social concept of family. If you won't, we are prepared to fight against you for the purpose of preserving our God given traditional marriage."