The Grand Rapids Press
February 1, 2013

A Grand Rapids-based group has formed to put a gay marriage proposal up for a statewide vote in November 2014. Marriage Michigan PAC aims to collect more than 300,000 signatures to get a same-sex marriage initiative on the Michigan ballot, and raise $10 million to help it pass. The time is ripe to push for gay marriage given the backlash over right to work and other lame-duck legislation passed by the Republican-led Michigan Legislature, said Chris Surfus, co-founder and president of the organization. “We believe that public outrage in Lansing and statewide will allow us not only to get a Democratic governor, but we believe we’ll also be able to legalize same-sex marriage,” said Surfus, a gay man and Grand Valley State University student. Surfus also is founder of The Tolerance, Equality and Awareness Movement, which called for Grand Rapids police protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people after an August 2012 incident at a Gay Day event in the city's Cherry Park.