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Posted on Thu, Jul 12, 2012 : 3:22 p.m.

Marcin questions Dingell's silent switch to support of same-sex marriage

By Ryan J. Stanton

Congressional candidate Daniel Marcin on Thursday responded to U.S. Rep. John Dingell's position change on the Defense of Marriage Act.

DOMA, previously supported by Dingell and signed into law in 1996 by former President Bill Clinton, defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman.

Dingell, D-Dearborn, on June 1 joined as a co-sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal provisions in DOMA and recognize the validity of same-sex marriages.


John Dingell

"I applaud John Dingell for switching his position on the Respect for Marriage Act, and adding his name to the list of cosponsors," said Marcin, a 25-year-old Ann Arbor resident and University of Michigan PhD candidate in economics.

Marcin, who has pressed Dingell on the same-sex marriage issue for weeks, said he still questions Dingell's silence on it.

"Mr. Dingell added his cosponsorship completely silently," he said. "There was no press release, no photo, no news story, and not even a tweet. John Dingell can't even cut a ribbon without giving a speech and posting photos. So why did he change his position on an issue of extreme importance to the people of the 12th District?" has requested an interview with Dingell. A spokesperson for his campaign said on Thursday the campaign is still debating which media outlets will receive interviews before the Aug. 7 primary.

The newly drawn 12th District covers portions of Wayne and Washtenaw counties, including the Ypsilanti area and the city of Ann Arbor.

"My request is simple," Marcin said. "If John Dingell is sincere in his position change, he should put out a press release and make a statement so that his position is well known."

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Sat, Jul 14, 2012 : 8:26 a.m.

Good, we grow when change comes around. People need to remember that freedom of choice or way we are born, is only the business of the people involved and no one else should not be able to stop our freedoms in this country. This custom of religion based practice is fine but keep it to yourself.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 6:38 p.m.

" has requested an interview with Dingell. A spokesperson for his campaign said on Thursday the campaign is still debating which media outlets will receive interviews before the Aug. 7 primary." Once again, Dingell's slick public relations machine is running! They are carefully anaylizing which media outlets gets to interview the person who sets himself higher than the people he is supposed to serve. The public relations team is carefully looking at each media outlet to see which one will give him the most favorable light. They are also carefully structuring what questions will be allowed to be asked. Also, they have to make sure that he doesn't do too many interviews before the primary in fear of Dingell saying the wrong thing at some point. Yes, indeed, his slick public relations team is hard at work.


Sat, Jul 14, 2012 : 7:05 p.m.

Esprout, Apparently you haven't followed Dingell's career. He is famously known to be very quiet most of the year until right before elections. Then all of a sudden he starts having press releases saying how he got this or that or done this or that (and wow, he got it done right before elections, amazing!). It's all part of his slick, well machined, re-election machine!


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 7:58 p.m.

And this is different from any other politician how?

Martin Church

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 4:53 p.m.

I as a member of the 12 district stand opposed to RMA and defend DOMA. Marriage is not a governmental institution, it is a religious Sacrament recognized by government for the protection and development of children. it is not a institution designed by GOD for the purpose of sex. Individuals who suffer from Same Sex Attraction Dysfunction can not in them self's procreate children, any more than a pig can conceive a dog. but with Science it can be done, against the laws of nature. Raising Children which are the product of marriage is not a right but a responsiblity and gift Dingell and his challenger have shown they do not respect ether God or marriage.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 8:11 p.m.

"Same Sex Attraction Dysfunction" news for's not the 1950's anymore


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 5:20 p.m.

When you push legislation through to place a federal ban to keep certain people from getting married, it becomes a governmental institution. The problem is, because it is rooted in/from religion, the federal ban is unconstitutional. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Translation - While Congress can't tell you what to believe, you can't tell someone they can't do something because your belief system thinks it's icky. Please share where you came up with SSAD and where it is recognized by a legitimate medical/psychological establishment. As for children, they are not the product of marriage, but the product of the love two people have for each other and the desire of those two people to carry on a lineage to pass on the love. There are plenty of heterosexual couples who have children who don't love them, care for them or nurture them. There are plenty of same-sex couples who would love the opportunity to love them, care for them and nurture them. It's not against the laws of nature for gay couples to have and raise children (yes, of course biologically it is impossible without a donor...that goes without saying) It's only against your own ideologically dogmatic beliefs. Please stop meddling in other peoples business and keep your beliefs where they yourself.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 4:08 p.m.

Love, love, you know what love is? Love is an illusion created by lawyer types like yourself to perpetuate another illusion called marriage to create the reality of divorce and then the illusionary need for divorce lawyer


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 4:02 p.m.

Sounds like Dingell is a little embarrased about his desicion. BUT voting with the democrats 98% of time he had no choice. If Obama says its so Dingell will follow. Dingell is one of the worst partisian politician in Washington. Dingell needs to have an opinion and I not talking about the gay marriage. Dingell is robot in Washington.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 2:27 p.m.

Personally, I find silence from a politician quite a rare and beautiful thing.

Jimmy McNulty

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 1:14 p.m.

Does anyone really believe Dingell knows how to tweet?

Madeleine Borthwick

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 2:46 p.m.

does anyone really CARE whether Mr. Dingell knows how to tweet? does it matter?


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 1 p.m.

I wrote to Dingell on a different subject, and although the answer was not what I wanted, the reply seemed well-thought-out, and actually seemed to be a direct response, rather than boilerplate that was about the general subject. On DoMA/RfMA, he is a "representative"; if his district has changed to include places with a different demographic, why shouldn't he change positions to reflect that change?


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 12:51 p.m.

Every single point to this story could be its complete polar opposite, and those who are complaining about Dingell would have posted the same comments. In fact, this story could be a random permutation between fact and anti-fact of any flavor and the complaints would remain, because none of them are based in reality.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 12:38 p.m.

LOL! Pickforddick, that is the best way to describe AANews I think in the most summed up way. In addition if people want to kick God out of the picture then right and wrong must be decided by man made laws. Opinions are nice but don't matter (just ask most poor people about that). The People of Michigan chose a couple years ago that marriage is only between a man and woman. Oh, and don't try to compare judging someone's skin color to and act of sex somebody does to another person. People have always and will always judge by ACTIONS and sexually boundaries which is completely different from the skin color you are born with. Comparing same sex marriage to the 1960 black civil rights movement with logic and reason shows the two are completely different but most simple minded libs will try to "shame" you into thinking they are same.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 4:24 p.m.

@Mohomed - You conveniently left out an important piece of my comment - "something you don't agree with that makes you feel icky." Sexual activity between two consenting adults, either of the same sex or of opposite sex, is NOT the same as sex with animals or sexual crimes against children. "Sex must have boundaries." It does. But when it's between two consenting adults, who made you the authority? Your idea of what sex should be is, presumably, from your upbringing and what you've been taught by your authoritative family members and by, again presumably, your church. You are free to believe whatever you want about it. And there is virtually no one who would disagree with you about protecting children from predators and the sex with animals thing (mormons might fight you on the plural marriage thing), but when it comes to consenting adults, you have no right to control what they do behind closed doors.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 3:51 p.m.

LOL, Esprout. "You should be ashamed that you don't support the idea of civil rights for ALL people because the idea of something you don't agree with", and "It's a law that is judging the act." You're right I don't agree with civil rights for ALL people because I believe sex must have boundaries. Gay sex, pedophiles, sex with animals, having 4 wives, ect are JUDGED all the time by the LAW. Yes, those things make many people feel ICKY. I do support equal rights for people of any skin color and gender though but those aren't defined by what we DO now is it.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 3:37 p.m.

Yes MIKE, that is my position. I think babies should be able to marry. Think about how adorable it would be to see two toddlers walking (or crawling) down the aisle. What a precious picture it would be for a bunch of 5 year olds holding cigarettes and drinking beer. Let's get every 7 year old a drivers license so they, too, can have the civil right to drive because, according to me, they fall under the category of "EVERYONE." Oh, and lest we not forget, we should all be able to marry the lamppost on the corner of Main St. and Liberty, because according to some, that's where this is yeah...let's play this game of stupid arguments and get absolutely NO WHERE in the discussion. Thank you MIKE for your comment. You've shed so much light on the subject.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 3:13 p.m.

ESprout, "Everyone is entitled to the same rights regardless of sex and sexual orientation, race, age, religion, etc. " by what you wrote, it sounds like minors should be able to marry. Is that you position? Or do minors not have civil rights?


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 2:12 p.m.

It's not a law based on an act. It's a law that is judging the act. The judgement is predicated on ancient text written by nomads and outcasts and preached to the uneducated and vulnerable. The issue is about civil rights. Everyone is entitled to the same rights regardless of sex and sexual orientation, race, age, religion, etc. You should be ashamed that you don't support the idea of civil rights for ALL people because the idea of something you don't agree with (that is in no way, shape or form any of your business) makes you feel icky.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 1:12 p.m.

Was God a co-sponsor of the bill?

Mike D.

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 12:33 p.m.

If this were politically motivated, Dingell would have drag queens passing out press releases on rainbow letterhead. Instead, he quietly signed his name to a bill promoting social justice. It seems clear something other than politics motivated this change of heart; he'll beat whatshisyoungster regardless. Maybe, like so many people lately, someone important to Dingell came out to him and it became an issue of humanity instead of an issue of politics.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 11:56 a.m.

What I am surprised is the lack of reporting that there was cheering against same sex marriage from the NAACP.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 2:01 p.m.

@Pickford - Your "truth" is anything but fair and balanced. You "righties" can't handle the truth.

Basic Bob

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 12:52 p.m.

The NAACP stance on this issue is unrelated and not news, since they didn't flip-flop.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 12:31 p.m.

I know the truth hurts but sometimes you have to open your eyes and see what is really happening.

Ed Kimball

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 12:24 p.m.

Actually, this is a LOCAL paper. They report very little in the way of national or international news, and what they do generally comes from wire services. As for "fair and balanced", I find they live up to that goal better than the "news" organization that uses that phrase for its motto. But that's damning with faint praise.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 12:01 p.m.

This is a liberal paper....they do not report fair and balanced to let you decide.....they decide what you should read....I'm sure you know that.

Superior Twp voter

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 11:25 a.m.

Granpa Dingell....... - Way past senility - Has not lived in this real world for decades - Will do anything for vote(s)/re-election

Madeleine Borthwick

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

typical mindset that says that when you get old you are automatically thought to be senile and therefore useless. Disgusting!!


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 2:24 p.m.

Maybe Superior would like to take away Repesentative Dingell's driver's license.

Mike D.

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 12:35 p.m.

I find that offensive. Just because he's old doesn't mean he's senile. I've spoken to the man recently, and he's articulate, quick on his feet, and encyclopedic in his knowledge of issues important to our state (auto industry, environment, etc.).

Alan Goldsmith

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 10:45 a.m.

So couldn't find ONE person from Dingell's campaign to comment on this? Not ONE? Interesting. Why is that?


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 2:14 a.m.

@ SEC fan, re: "it matters because he changed to get a vote." You have made several post here that assert that. Are you just guessing at his motives, or have you been following this closely, and have more information than I do? I am aware that Marcin has been applying pressure on this point, but I have not been following Marcin, or this story, very closely. I'd like to think that Dingell did not make this decision cynically, but I don't really know.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 10:33 a.m.

But the Dems continue to vote for this dinosaur and then claim they are for change.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 2:06 a.m.

@ Dog Guy, re, nee Dzieglewicz: Actually that should be ne´ Dzieglewicz, not née Dzieglewicz. We see née more often because women change their names more often, but it is a gender-specific French word.


Thu, Jul 12, 2012 : 11:11 p.m.

And Lincoln didn't issue the Emancipation Proclamation early in his presidency because he thought it was the morally "right" thing to do; rather, he issued it late in his first term, when he was on course to lose his re-election bid, because it was the strategic and politically expedient thing to do to garner votes and leverage the war. Great deeds speak for themselves, while the motivations behind them are lost to history. Who cares WHY Dingell changed course; it only matters that he did.

Angry Moderate

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 12:46 p.m.

Basic Bob, do you see Matthew Shepard voting?

Basic Bob

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 10:51 a.m.

@a2anon, Do you understand this word? It means they are allowed to vote, one of those fundamental rights of citizenship previously withheld from all women and most non-white men, and sometimes men without property, education, or picture ID.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 2:49 a.m.

Wait, basic bob.... Did you just say that LGBT people have not been disenfranchised????

Basic Bob

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 2:27 a.m.

Lincoln used martial law when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation. It only applied to slaves in the southern states, in areas controlled by the Union Army. About 50,000 of the 4 million. Most important, it made none of them citizens. LGBT have not been disenfranchised and prevented from obtaining citizenship, nor have they been considered property of others. So this is a ridiculous comparison. What's next, comparisons to Japanese internment camps, Guantanamo prisoners, Apartheid, Tibet, Bosnia, or Eastern Europe during WW II?

P. J. Murphy

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 12:32 a.m.

The point here is that the Proclamation was complicated initiative, part moral, part legal, and partly purely political. Lincoln's ultimate goal was preservation of the Union. Historians can only speculate about what was in Lincoln's heart, just as we today we don't know what John Dingell's personal views are. But as our representative in Washington he's doing the right thing and deserves credit for stepping up. I don't think we should elect politicians for what's in their heart, we elect them for what they can do that serves us as citizens. Yes, it's always possible they are just hypocrites and poseurs, that's why they always deserve the scrutiny of an informed citizenry. Rigid and dogmatic politicians, no matter how sanctified their cause, tend to be zealots and tend either toward the relatively ineffective or the tyrannical.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 12:31 a.m.

It only matters that he did? No wonder we are in such a mess.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 12:02 a.m.

Lincoln issued a preliminary proclamation on September 22, 1862, well before the halfway point of his first term. He then issued the emancipation proclamation on January 1, 1863, which was still well before the halfway point of his first term. Don't let those pesky facts get in the way of an impassioned argument.


Thu, Jul 12, 2012 : 11:19 p.m.

it matters because he changed to get a vote...he'll change back if he thinks it'll get him more votes.


Thu, Jul 12, 2012 : 9:43 p.m.

The lefty's will do anything for a vote and their sheep praise them lol.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 8:01 p.m.

A certain Ferris Bueller quote comes to mind...


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 11:25 a.m.


Alan Goldsmith

Thu, Jul 12, 2012 : 9:30 p.m.

Why has Dingell been so cowardly and and gutless on this issue over the years? That is the issue/question. I have a lot of respect for Dingell but this lack of courage on a major issue for our era is sickening.

Mike D.

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 12:40 p.m.

While I don't like how long it's taken him to see the light here, I figure it's a largely generational thing. Look at support for the issue among people of varying ages, and it's generally true that the older you are, the longer it takes you to embrace gay rights.


Thu, Jul 12, 2012 : 8:48 p.m.

sounds like a lovers quarrel


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 1:57 p.m.

sounds like a derogatory remark

greg, too

Thu, Jul 12, 2012 : 8:34 p.m.

With all of the press releases and obnoxious photo ops that congressmen/women force themselves into just to make it seem like they are doing something other than fundraising and playing golf, it's nice to see someone just do something and not announce it like Moses with the 10 commandments. Was his change politically motivated, quite possibly. But the fact that he has not come out and made a big production out of it seems like a non story created by a candidate who has no shot at beating Dingell. I'm not a fan of Dingell, but it's nice to see him come around to matter what his reasoning is.

Madeleine Borthwick

Thu, Jul 12, 2012 : 8:17 p.m.

Good for you John! Gay or Straight, Love is Great!!


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 1:55 p.m.

Actually, it is natural. There is plenty of evidence in nature. You just have to open your eyes and recognize it.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 11:38 a.m.

Natural is overrated. A lot of really bad things are "natural". Ebola is natural, for example.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 6:15 a.m.

Natural ? Please define what you mean. There must be something missing?


Thu, Jul 12, 2012 : 8:50 p.m.

not necessarily natural. but yes, great.

Angry Moderate

Thu, Jul 12, 2012 : 8:27 p.m.

Not great enough to get a press release or a campaign speech, apparently.

Top Cat

Thu, Jul 12, 2012 : 8:10 p.m.

John "Control the People" Dingell probably doesn't recall what he stood for in 1996. He is fortunate to have Debbie to remind him what he stands for.


Thu, Jul 12, 2012 : 8:09 p.m.

Thank you Mr. Dingell for recognizing ALL citizens SHOULD have EQUAL rights (even if you are pandering for votes) :>)

Mike D.

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 12:41 p.m.

What leads you to believe his position change is pandering? If that were the case, wouldn't he be more vocal courting LGBT voters and allys?


Thu, Jul 12, 2012 : 11:18 p.m.

here here ferdcom!


Thu, Jul 12, 2012 : 9:41 p.m.

He is not supporting marriage rights for ALL citizens. When he (or any other politician does they will earn my respect.


Thu, Jul 12, 2012 : 9:36 p.m.

Unfortunately, Dingell isn't recognizing this...he's recognizing he needs to change his position for a vote.

Dog Guy

Thu, Jul 12, 2012 : 8:04 p.m.

A hereditary politician (his dad, nee Dzieglewicz, was 15th District Representative for twenty years before John Jr. inherited the seat), Dingell is less than a year from being the longest-sitting member ever of the U.S. Congress. Such a noteworthy political career is not accomplished without seeming to be a soulmate to most voters. Ann Arbor votes for this NRA darling, who does not irritate us with gun waving. I am certain he will not irritate Dearborn with rainbows.


Thu, Jul 12, 2012 : 8:03 p.m.

This is a confusing article. It isn't about Mr. Dingell signing on as a co-sponsor of a bill, but rather about someone else's complaint that Mr. Dingell didn't call a press conference to announce that he was signing on as a co-sponsor of a bill. There is no discussion of the substance of the legislation, where it stands in process, what its potential for passage is, or what implications its potential enactment might carry. In other words, the article simply announces that a politician's challenger has written a blog criticizing the politician for not taking the position the challenger agrees with sooner or louder?

Tom Todd

Thu, Jul 12, 2012 : 8:05 p.m.

I think it's better then the right making up stories.


Thu, Jul 12, 2012 : 7:56 p.m.

We have to support the party that supports the law, even if it means he has to flip flop!


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 1:50 p.m.

How about we support the PEOPLE who propose and push through laws that are nondiscriminatory and constitutional?

Unusual Suspect

Thu, Jul 12, 2012 : 8:23 p.m.

No, it's called "evolving" now, remember?


Thu, Jul 12, 2012 : 7:32 p.m.

Wisdom that comes late is still better than never.


Thu, Jul 12, 2012 : 11:17 p.m.

Unfortunately I don't consider it progress when our politicians change positions (and silently no less) just to get a vote. progress is when change is meaningful and lasting. What happens if, in a few years, Dingell thinks he'll get more votes going back the other way? he needs to go. he doesn't truly support this. If he did, he'd be vocal about it.


Thu, Jul 12, 2012 : 10:57 p.m.

Whatever the motive, progress forward is still progress. Better to bend with changing times than stay mired in an anachronism, merely to save face just for the sake of maintaining "consistency" of position. Leadership requires flexibility, not stubbornness.


Thu, Jul 12, 2012 : 9:34 p.m.

wisdom to know when it's the time to change a position to garner votes...