MICHIGAN: Crackpot Tea Party Reps Intro Three New Anti-Gay Marriage Bills

Freshman Michigan Tea Party state reps Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat have introduced a trio of  anti-gay marriage bills, two of which are so theocratic that you just have to laugh. Via Eclectablog:

House Bill 4731 changes the current law covering the ability of a couple to get married in secret (“without publicity”) to make that option available only to opposite-sex couples. It actually explicitly refers to a person’s “marriage to a person of the opposite sex”. The mention of “clergy” is important because a second bill, House Bill 4733, would restrict the issuance and signing of marriage licenses only to “clergy” which they define as “a minister of the Gospel, cleric, or religious practitioner.” Finally, House Bill 4732 would make it illegal for anyone who is not a “minister of the Gospel, cleric, or religious practitioner” to perform a marriage. So: No secret gay marriages. Only clergy can issue and sign marriage licenses, and only clergy can perform weddings. No government officials involved, marriage becomes the exclusive bailiwick of religion. Atheists can just suck it up.

In the extremely remote possibility that these bills were to be approved, it seems like an awful lot of gay folks would suddenly declare themselves to be members of the clergy. Not that there’s a shortage of gay-friendly churches that would be delighted to be able to issue marriage licenses.

RELATED: In April, Gamrat was kicked off of the Michigan House Republican caucus, apparently for violating confidentiality rules by commenting on Facebook about a pending issue. Unrelated to that, this is from her campaign site: “Our nation was built upon a Judeo-Christian foundation and has been blessed by the hand of Providence. I will stand STRONG for religious freedom against any attacks that may come it’s way.”

  • justmeeeee

    did you say, “religious entertainer?”

  • Blake Jordan

    If the SCOTUS ruling does not include “heightened scrutiny”, it is not a full win for our side!!!

    So much (legislative) animus has been shown in the last year alone!

    • Ninja0980

      That sad to say is where the loss is going to come in.
      We are going to get equality, but not heightened scrutiny.

      • Necessitas

        Sadly, it could very well be the other way around.

        • Ninja0980

          I don’t think it will be.

        • Blake Jordan

          Doubtful, if national marriage equality is denied, they certainly will not be offering up “heightened scrutiny”.

          It will be a partial win or full loss for us.

          • Necessitas

            They wouldn’t have to deny it, they could simply send the cases back to the lower courts with the instruction they must retry them while applying heightened scrutiny.

            It could shield SCOTUS from being declared “activist” and “anti-state’s rights” by the right-wing, it could also shield SCOTUS from being accused of “rushing” the issue before the country is ready. I know these three issues are hogwash, but who is SCOUTS more apt to look out for, us or themselves?

            SCOTUS is comprised of nine heterosexuals, all religious. They are not a jury of our peers.

          • Circ09

            I do believe Elena Kagan is a “peer” she just doesn’t want to claim “us”.

          • William

            Sonia Sotomayor strikes me as the ‘comfortable shoe’ type.

  • Ed Burrow

    um wow.

    • Ed Burrow

      craZee eyes for sure.

      • barracks9

        Didn’t she used to body-double for Martina Navratilova?

        • Justin

          Only in death scenes.

      • William

        SuperGlue is not an eyeliner.

  • pch1013

    The next step, obviously, would be to outlaw all non-gay-hating churches.

    • Blake Jordan

      Make “fag hating” a requirement for tax exempt status…

      • Mark

        I thought it already was.

  • pj

    what the hell happened to michigan. my family is from there…ive spent time there…i dont understand. somehow the people in the midwest stopped laughing at these crazy people and started to take them seriously.

    • bkmn

      The media pretending that the left is as crazy as the right had a lot to do with this.

    • Gustav2

      The Democrats got an education and left.

    • I was raised there. Deeply ashamed of my home state. I will forego my annual visit this year. Sorry, family, but I do not feel welcome.

      • brian

        Mine were notified long ago.

    • Necessitas

      Michigan’s economy is in shambles, I believe that might have something to do with it. Reminds me of late 1930s Germany.

      • brian

        I grew up there starting in 1959 and it has always reminded me of 1930s Germany.

    • Fox

      I’m thinking a bunch KKK types from Indiana must’ve crossed the border. I have family members from Michigan who can’t believe the sh#t that’s happening there.

    • Giant Monster Gamera

      I lived there for over 20 years and most of my family is still there. I rarely go back and when I do it’s depressing how much it has declined.

    • brian

      And then became them.

    • BobSF_94117


    • DutchBoy74

      Crash of 2008 was blamed on Jennifer Granholm solely. The democrats in Detroit were caught in vast corruption with their pants down. Faux news and the Republicans jumped to demonize Labor along with the Democrats and the children raised in the wake became disillusioned. The Democrats turned bent over and took it without much of a fight as they fled the state in shame and never looked back. Meanwhile the Republicans have been raping every public fund available to give to their rich ass friends while shitting on everyone else – still they keep getting re-elected.

      My county had no Democratic delegate. I vote, but half my ballot is nothing but incumbent Republicans with no challengers.

      A number of tries were made unsuccessfully to boot Snyder, which adds to the dissillusionment. The youth do not vote as they 1) Don’t see a future in Michigan and leave the first chance they get, and 2) Don’t see anyone that they feel will make a difference so they are apathetic.

      Myself am starting to wonder what the fuck this state has left to offer me and my family. The state deserves the shit it’s getting and the beatings shall continue until voter morale and turn out improves. Why should I waste 20 years of my life waiting for Michigan to grow up when the rest of the country has moved on?

      I’m campaigning for Bernie Sanders. I feel he’s got a chance to tap into the disillusionment here and has a plan to get people back to decent jobs and rebuild our terrible infrastructure. If that doesn’t work, I might look elsewhere and take a loss on the house. I know I’m never getting the money and time I sunk into this pit back anyways.

      Seriously you all – don’t visit here. Michigan deserves what it is getting. I’ve tries reasoning with the people here and playing nice. Too long, and too much. I’m done with it.They deserve the shit they elect over and over. I worry for the safety of the Great Lakes.

    • RoFaWh

      One word: Detroit. Three words: the auto industry.

      Michigan put too many of its economic eggs in one basket.

      Off hand, I can’t think of another large city so heavily dependent on a single industry (though there must be, or have been, some). And Detroit was the only major city in Michigan. A house of cards.

      Incidentally, anybody know how the University of Michigan is doing?

    • McSwagg

      Lots of educated people moved out for jobs in other parts of the country. The less educated were left behind and the demographics and politics drifted to the right. This change is not unique to Michigan, but affects all of the rust belt.

      The following link has an interactive map showing migration to/from any county in the country. It’s quite enlightening.


  • Ben in Oakland

    I can’t even what they expect to accomplish with these laws, except to elevate political stupidity to religious super stupidity.

  • Dale Paris

    Next step for people in Michigan: Declare yourself a Priest of Satan. Hypocrites.

  • John Ruff

    “I will stand STRONG for religious freedom against any attacks that may come it’s way.”

    And while you’re at it, you may want to attack you poor grammar.

    • Dale Snyder

      I love the contraction.

      Stupid bitch.

      • Necessitas

        It should be ‘strongly’ too.

        • John Ruff

          Republicans are so fucking stupid.

    • Necessitas

      Boldly splitting infinitives no one has split before.

  • wmforr

    We used to be a “Christian nation”. Now, to avoid being called anti-Israel, we are a “Judeo-Christian” nation. But I have yet to meet anyone who identified as a Judeo Christian.

    Of course, what’s-her-name, the I-am-not-a-bimbo bimbo, claims we were founded on the “Abrahamic religions”, forgetting that that includes Islam, which she was bashing at the time.

    So there’s “The Gospel®”, and then all those “practitioners”.

    What part of “equal” don’t these folks understand?

    • bkmn

      When these holier than thou Xtians use Judeo-Christian they just mean the Jews we haven’t converted to Christianity yet.

  • Robincho

    “…come it’s way”? Really, Gamtwat? Your picture just says desperate and frantic. Your text says sub-literate. I say ambulatory fecal matter…

    • Paul Weidig

      I don’t pay attention to anyone who can’t distinguish the difference between “it’s” and “its,”

      • marshlc

        You’re and your are handy pointers, too.

        I don’t hold those just posting quick comments on comments boards to very high standards of English, but when a written piece of work has presumably had a little time and effort put into it and still contains glaring errors, damn right I’m judging.

  • oikos

    Todd looks like a glory hole aficionado. Just saying.

    • Todd20036

      Is it really that obvious to everyone? Sigh.

      • oikos

        Not you silly. We already knew that. 🙂 I’m guessing it is just a matter of time before this guy gets caught in some sex scandal.

      • Chucktech

        You know, your friends wouldn’t tell you… So I will. 😉

    • tristram

      Au contraire. There’s a prior story on Electablog discussing a much-rumored incident in which Gamrat’s husband purportedly caught her in the act with Courser at a Radisson hotel. Stay tuned!

      • oikos

        See my reply to Todd. I predicted a sex scandal of some sort.

      • trouble94114

        actually, it could just be how they’re spinning it. maybe it was Courser and Gamrat’s husband who were caught by Ms. Cindy. I mean, in the photo she actually looks crazed enough to try and eat anyone who tried to have sex with her.

  • bkmn

    Time to head to Grand Rapids and open the Church of Priapus.

    • johncAtl

      Can I join even if I don’t drive a Toyota?

      • oikos

        I also would like to ‘minister’ to the masses…………..of hot men.

        • cjs

          I take it a lot of kneeling is involved.

          • Don’t worry, a good set of knee pads will reduce the strain.

        • Joe in PA

          like you’ve ever needed a church before….

          just sayin’. LOL!

          • oikos

            Holy Priapus, batman!

    • Mark

      There used to be one of those in San Francisco. Don’t know if there still is or not.

    • OrliJoe in Fla

      I have seen a few awe inspiring Priapi in my day.

    • Snarkaholic

      Chef Snarky’s First Assembly of Cod.

    • rusty57

      There used to be one at 415 Bridge Street.
      But it’s been decades…

    • Traxley Launderette

      You are welcome here more than you could imagine. GR has evolved into a much more progressive city compared to even 15 years ago.

      Seriously, however, long as Fountain Street Church is here, there will never be a problem finding a wedding venue. They’re open to all.

  • trouble94114

    no doubt both are products of fine “home schooling” or “Christian Academies”. Because they certainly didn’t get their education from an institution that actually teaches history and civics.

  • Gustav2

    Oh dear gawd, are they outlawing the “posting of banns?”

    • cjs

      I thought that was just in Ontario in Canada.

  • vorpal

    Okay, can somebody please tell me what the fuck happens in someone’s life to make them both this stupid AND this hateful?

    Did their mother fail her rusty wire coat hanger abortion attempt?

  • Mark

    Ok. Ok. I would do him – and then send him home to his mommy.

    • brian

      Ummm. I think that says more about you than him,.

      • Mark

        I’ve always wanted to ‘take one for the team’….and I figured this was my big, big chance to shine….prove myself….be a part of the big picture….

  • LonelyLiberal

    Can’t you just get ordained online in about five minutes? Since government can’t be allowed to determine what standards must exist for ordination, end of discussion.

    • cjs

      I was JUST about to type that out.

      • LonelyLiberal

        Great gay minds think alike.

        • cjs

          🙂 I had several friends in Alabama do the online ordination thing when marriage equality came (albeit in limbo now) to the state. There are Unitarian-Universalists, ECUSA, liberal Lutherans and Methodists, and UCC ministers, among the organized congregations around Alabama, but not spread around wide enough around the state.

          • And don’t forget that the church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster ordains folks as well.


          • oikos

            arrrgh, avast ye matey.

          • William

            ‘Butt Pirate’ as a wedding theme. That could work.

          • oikos

            Pirates and beer are part of the FSM theology. The decline in pirates correlates with the rise in global temperatures. 😉

        • Rocketeer500

          I’m going to start The Church of the Relentlessly Gay.


      I was ordained online years ago.

      • Octavio

        I got an ordination from sending in $10 to an address advertised in the Rolling Stone back in 1972. I assume my status is still good. 🙂

  • AJA

    Dammit, Michissippi, I’m getting a little tired of defending you. I live in a very liberal bubble of a town in west MI, so I feel like I’ve just been running around saying “we’re not all like this!” and I am sick and tired of it!

    • cjs

      It’s pretty much the Southern liberal experience exported above the Mason-Dixon line…

  • J̶a̶l̶a̶p̶e̶ñJoe Smithson

    I’m waiting for something to happen in VA, so I can start a marijuana church.

    • Giant Monster Gamera

      Why wait?

      • J̶a̶l̶a̶p̶e̶ñJoe Smithson

        I don’t think we have any laws in Virginia that support religious freedom to start a church.

    • brian

      Sign me up!

  • bitwise

    So aside from these laws being obviously unconstitutional on first amendment grounds, they wouldn’t even accomplish anything. This legislation seems like a splendid use of tax money from the party of so-called fiscal conservatives.

  • geoffalnutt

    Again…that particular photo of Gamrat shows the typical crazy/zombie eyes that Repiglicon/Teatard women develop. I’m beginning to think that Repiglicon/Teatard males are spiking the Ovaltine with Thorazine (or some such). Otherwise – no coherent woman would go along with the shit.

  • wmforr

    Couldn’t help posting on her Facebook page:

    “I really take exception to your proposed law that would make it illegal for anyone who is not a ‘minister of the Gospel, cleric, or religious practitioner’ to perform a marriage. Why make it so broad? Why even Satanists and Mormons would qualify.

    “I suggest that you limit it to ‘minister of the Gospel in a recognized conservative Protestant denomination.’ Or perhaps you should specify that the minister in question believes that every word of the Bible is the literal word of G*d in the original, inspired King James Version. That’s much more in the spirit of the First Amendment.”

    • Wynter Marie Starr

      I’d love to know if she answers you. I refuse to go to her page as I don’t feel like getting more pissed than I am today. There’s been a lot of crazy in the air.

    • teedofftaxpayer

      I do hope the State of Michigan realizes that there are people out there who are not religious and this infringes up their rights as well and they’re not even same sex couples.

    • JoeNCA

      So gay Christians would be able to marry but straight atheists would not?

  • Cyril

    Are the voters in Michigan idiots to elect such trash?

    • I was wondering the same thing. Maybe they hid their stupidity and their bigotry throughout their campaigns?

    • brian

      Simple answer is yes. MI is currently facing many serious budgetary issues, including but not limited to their roads which are virtually undrivable with no money to pay for the needed repairs but instead of dealing with them the TP’ers waste time and money on shit like this.

      • William

        It’s bread and circus time, without the bread.

    • Vista-Cruiser

      Not quite. Most of the voters in Michigan are idiots because they didn’t vote at all back in 2010 and 2014. So trash like these two won largely by default.

  • Freeman

    These are just resume builders for up and coming Tea Partiers. Every single one of them needs to flesh out the anti-gay thing, and what better way than to introduce the most ridiculous and preposterous bills imaginable to “make their bones” as it were.

    • Goodboy


  • canoebum

    Two words for these dolts: Facially Unconstitutional. Your little scheme won’t pass muster even at the lowest levels of review. Go back to school, apparently you were nodding off on the days they discussed how our government was formed and works.

  • ScottJL

    Well I’m an officially Ordained Minister of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I’ll perform weddings free of charge!

  • abbafan65

    Over the years, my state has gone from blue-to-purple and now is just about totally into the whacko world of teabagger red. Maybe time to escape while I still can.

  • MBear

    theocracy now
    theocracy tomorrow
    theocracy forever
    (see also: sharia law)

  • Clive Johnson

    This kind of ignorance and primitiveness and narrowness is killing this country. We need smarter, broader, more knowledgeable, more intellectually curious people in office–not these idiots.

    • KQCA

      I wish I could afford a freeway billboard to publicize your comment. It is perfect.

    • noni

      It is sad.

    • GC

      There is a cult of ignorance in the United States … nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’
      (Isaac Asimov, “A Cult of Ignorance”, Newsweek, 21 January 1980, p.19)

  • William

    Jedi is a religion. So is Druid.

    • barracks9

      The Satanists, too.

    • If these RFRAs keep getting written into law, there are going to be all kinds of new religions born, with all kinds of “sincerely held beliefs” seeking religious exemptions to all kinds of laws. After all, as adamantly as these people INSIST that gay marriage violates their religious faith, they also INSIST that they don’t have to tell you what tenet of faith is violated, or prove that they believe it. You have to accept their statement of faith.

      They haven’t just opened Pandora’s Box, they’ve opened a Russian nesting-doll set of Pandora’s Boxes.

      • Octavio

        I know a couple of clergy who minister at The Church of Holy Basketball. The recent NBA games have kept them very busy healing stretched groins, peyronies disease. When SSM is legal throughout the kingdom they’re never going to get any rest.

  • Richard Rush

    “. . . a trio of anti-gay marriage bills, two of which are so theocratic that you just have to laugh.”

    And if you want to keep laughing, read this:

    “Americans’ confidence in religion hits a new low”

    Americans have less confidence in organized religion today than ever measured before — a sign that the church could be “losing its footing as a pillar of moral leadership in the nation’s culture,” a new Gallup survey finds. . . .

  • KQCA

    Something in this issue is wired to these people’s crotches…and instead of getting therapy, they’re trying to make it our problem.

  • carswell

    Well, well, well. A couple of days ago, Electablog posted about rumours that Courser and Gamrat were caught — by Gamrat’s husband, according to some reports — having a tryst in a Lansing hotel room last March. Obviously it was just a strategy planning session. http://www.eclectablog.com/2015/06/three-big-rumors-swirling-in-michigan-involving-todd-courser-cindy-gamrat-lon-johnson-and-rick-snyder.html

  • “In the extremely remote possibility that these bills were to be approved. . . ”

    The state would find itself in court before the ink was dry.

  • Mike__in_Houston

    I remember having a very good impression of Michigan as a liberal state some 20 years ago. Either I was incredibly mistaken, or things have really changed and not for the better…

  • Keiffer

    Here’s an addendum that Joe would label So fucking related:

    The two hypocrites pictured above have been caught in flagrante delicto just recently. See the top of the 3 notes and the updated note at the bottom in this article:


  • BaddogLtd
  • Mark

    good fucking god! these assholes have no concept of civil marriage, etc. do they? How the hell do stupid people like this get elected? Never mind….I answered my own question.

  • NZArtist

    The lizard-person on the right has a faulty smile routine in their skin-suit.

    • BaddogLtd

      Heh heh ; )

  • Christopher

    It is absolutely impossible to have a meaningful dialogue with these types of people.

    • Goodboy

      That’s a really good explanation of religion. You can’t even argue with it. Faith by definition is the opposite of logic. It tells us to ignore what we know to be true and believe something no matter what.

      I honestly tried to make myself believe. I wanted to so much. Was never able to do it and was jealous of others that could. Well, times sure change.

  • BobSF_94117

    So: No secret gay marriages.

    Hold on, I thought they wanted us to keep our marriages secret…

  • Lumpy Gaga

    Remind me again .. are there no workhouses??

  • Wynter Marie Starr

    Y’know, since these nuts refuse to represent all of their constituents, they should take a pay cut. They only represent other religious extremists of the christian faith, so those that identify as anything other than christian should not have their tax dollars paying these lunatics.

  • Sporkfighter

    The mention of “clergy” is important because a second bill, House Bill 4733, would restrict the issuance and signing of marriage licenses only to “clergy” which they define as “a minister of the Gospel, cleric, or religious practitioner.”

    That includes my atheist ass … I’m an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church, Modesto, CA. Anyone need a minister?

  • joe ho

  • TheManicMechanic

    I sense much crazy just from the portraits alone.

  • motorbear
    • trouble94114

      stones and glass houses, never a good mix

    • Octavio

      I didn’t see this before posting. But it just makes me so happy that you included the link. 🙂

  • Tor

    What is it with Tea Partiers and their eyes?

  • Octavio

    I’ll bet good money these two are diddling each other at the Comfort Inn on the Interstate.

  • Jim

    The weird thing is that these two nuts really believe that their zany bills have a chance and that the people of Michigan would go along with their wackadoodle plans.

    • Arkansan

      I was born and raised in Michigan and believe me, their zany bills would be supported by many. My advice to any LGBT is to just get the hell out of that place. There is no place you could move that wouldn’t be an improvement, including Arkansas. And I say this while living only a few miles from the Duggars.

  • Uncle Sal

    Getting too old to read all the outrage, but as I’m an ordained minister, just come on over to my place and i’ll be glad to marry anybody, anytime. . . well, call first, I mean, really!

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    ” House Bill 4733, would restrict the issuance and signing of marriage licenses only to “clergy” which they define as “a minister of the Gospel, cleric, or religious practitioner.”

    Clearly fucking unconstitutional. These people have no place in a secular democracy.

  • DutchBoy74

    If you all could show your support for Holland Area Pride and Grand Rapids Area pride in any way, by social media, donations, letters of thanks for their corporate sponsors, it would help. Change happens when people are aware that we are human and harm is being done to us. The area needs to realize the rest of the country is moving on and they need to evolve already too.


    Holland wants to be a leader and attract businesses. It prides itself on being an “All-American City” and their numerous awards. I hate to have their accolades to be on the wrong side of history. Please encourage the City to evolve their policies already and include sexual orientation and gender identity in their equal opportunity and non discrimination clauses.

    @kurtdykstra – Mayor

    • Holland is a lovely town and i second this message. it’s been the colony of MI’s conservative religious batshit insane

      people for my whole life and then some, but things can change.

      Holland lives for tourist dollars. let them know that yours will choose places that are welcoming, and they will listen.

  • teedofftaxpayer

    This law will be thrown out in the first court test. Just it’s a shame that everything has to go to court because of bunch of ignorant fools. There are too many people out there who are not religious to force them to get married by a minister. It won’t hold water. Violation of the First Amendment.

    • Reality.Bites

      Nope – a bill introduced by someone too batshit crazy for the Republicans has no chance of passage.

      • teedofftaxpayer

        But “batshit crazy” is their middle name.

  • Greg B.

    Why do all of these anti-gay Christian women look like they need a laxative?

  • Hasn’t the church of Harvey Fierstein been incorporated yet?

  • leastyebejudged

    This is a poorly written article, and I am a bit stunned nobody has pointed out that there are clergy that will in fact marry same sex couples, no problem. So the entire article and the premise is flawed.

  • My original post has been updated here: http://www.eclectablog.com/2015/06/confirmed-rfra-for-marriage-legislation-being-drafted-by-michigan-republicans.html. “RFRA for Marriage” legislation is being prepared.

  • GayEGO

    Tea Hea party state reps Toad Curser and Gam was such a Rat their anti-gay (ha ha) bills are likely to be rejected. :>)

  • Austin Bennett

    I like how they’re assumption is that all Clergy are against SSM. Since there are Clergy that 1) believe in SSM and 2) are LGBT themselves, wouldn’t denying their right to perform marriage as they please against their own freedom of religion?

    So, another hypocritical, discriminatory law. Surprise, surprise.