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Posted on Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 12:26 p.m.

Domestic partner benefits: New poll shows Michigan voters opposed

By Cindy Heflin

A new poll shows most Michigan voters don’t like the idea of government-provided health-care benefits to domestic partners of public employees, the Detroit Free Press reported today.


Peter Ways and Joe Breakey of Ann Arbor with their daughter, Aliza Breakey-Ways. The couple is among those cited by the American Civil Liberties Union in a lawsuit challenging the law banning domestic partner benefits for public employees.

The poll found 54 percent of likely voters opposed such benefits, while 32 percent supported them.

The poll was conducted Jan. 19-21 by Denno Research and the public relations firm Lambert, Edwards and Associates.

Gov. Rick Snyder last month signed a new law banning local governments and public schools from offering health insurance and other benefits for unmarried partners of employees, same sex or not.

It's not clear whether the ban applies to employees of public universities. The governor's office and officials from the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University say it does not. However, some Michigan lawmakers say it does.

The ACLU of Michigan has filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to strike down the ban. Two Ann Arbor couples are at the forefront of that lawsuit.



Fri, Feb 3, 2012 : 1:05 a.m.

For God's sake - just get over it. Do we really still base all this on biblical verses written and re-written over time by men? Really? We let women vote and disobey their husbands, we don't stone people for adultery and we consider physical violence to children a crime. The bible is NOT LITERAL! No one - NO ONE - takes it that way. Gay is not a choice. Gay people have always existed (ask yourself why people - it used to be punished by death, so ask yourself why). We have evolved on so many other scores, this one must also come to be. It will come to be. It is a huge mental shift for everyone of a certain age or demographic, but it must come. Lastly, it is not appropriate to legislate who does and does not get benefits or any other such trivial thing. Either outlaw homosexuality and make it a crime, or be quiet and keep out of other people's business who are living their lives productively.


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

This whole argument is one reason why we should have universal heath care. Shouldn't matter if your single- married- employed- unemployed-rich or poor.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

The silent majority is getting tired of supporting the vocal minority is what I am seeing in these posts.............


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 10:25 a.m.

I keep seeing the phrase "free insurance" - this is wayyyyy not the case. a) the insurance is paid for like everyone else's insurance so there is a deductible, co-pay and all of the other payments. b) any coverage that the government pays for is taxed as income the cost to the family involved is MORE than married couples because there is a tax premium to the coverage. Lets not get in the way of some facts in this discussion.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 1:53 p.m.

As far as I know the cost of health insurance is not YET taxed by the government, is it?

michael elizabeth

Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 3:33 a.m.

Kudos to Aliza, Joe and Peter. I have known Peter for 20 years, and this family for many years. I have a handyperson business and have had the privilege to work in their home. They are wonderful people and an asset to our community. Of course they should be afforded partner benefits. Our community, like all communities, should do everything we can to support loving, generous families regardless of their makeup or this years religious whim. To do otherwise is to be selfish, slavish and cowardly.

Basic Bob

Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 12:25 p.m.

They are evading basic tax fairness. One partner works for the public entity. The other works as a "contractor", where one would be expected to pay for his own benefits out of his compensation, as other consultants do. If he worked as an employee at a Fortune 500 company or a public entity, he would be entitled to this benefit in his own right. Let me be clear that I believe that many married couples use this same scam - one is an employee and the other a "consultant", allowing them to collect enough income to put them among the ONE PERCENT. This is who you are fighting for, not the poor, not the downtrodden, not victims, but an elite subset of people (straight or gay) who use their influence and selfishness to raise themselves above their neighbors who are LESS fortunate. Family insurance was designed for the traditional one-earner household. Two-earner households should both pay.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 1:16 a.m.

A2anon, Only in the public employment arena would healthcare be considered a "right".....try explaining that to the 40 million people without healthcare who pay taxes to support public employees and their superior benefits. nrydreems, so when did fiscal restraint become a hate crime? It's really easy to say it doesn't cost that much when you aren't paying the bill. Ron, and then you have those that only advocate on their own behalf, as do public employee unions.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 10:32 a.m.

a) the coverage is for one domestic partner, not several. b) your assertion that only in the public employment arena is it considered a right is ridiculous. Nearly ALL of the fortune 500 companies cover domestic partners. and nearly all the fortune 500 companies backed universal healthcare. c) fiscal restraint is a non-issue here because of the size of the -v- the litigation + state supported healthcare (medicaid) involved. It looks like the state will be spending more on litigation and medicaid than the tiny amount it was spending on domestic partner coverage. don't for a single little minute think that this isn't hate-filled activity from a bigoted majority pandering to the deep pocketed old hacks in this state (Van Andel, DeVoss, Monaghan and friends). Tom McMillan was bought and paid for years ago and that saga will continue.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 3:33 a.m.

What about them? Are you aware that bisexuality is the abililty to love either a man OR a woman? And that bisexual people are just as likely to be monogamous as anyone else? So, to answer your question, a bisexual woman married to a man gets health insurance. A bisexual woman in long-term monogamous partnership (or married, if we'd let her) with another woman, should have the same rights.

Marshall Applewhite

Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 3:05 a.m.

@a2anon What about bisexual partners?


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 2:59 a.m.

Ugh. "they're" Of course.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 2:58 a.m.

If straight spouses get it, then gay spouses should get it. That's equal, and equality is what civil rights is about. And don't start with the "their not really married" nonsense, cuz that's the whole point! Since we don't yet allow them to marry, we at least need to allow them EQUAL access and rights.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 1:08 a.m.

The people making the money saving argument are really being sold a bill of goods that will NEVER happen. Here is why. If one partner has health benefits and the other does not, that generally means there is a disparity in income and job type. A person who is making considerably less will more likely qualify for Medicaid. If I did not have domestic partner benefits my boyfriend could qualify for Medicaid. His insurance would then be paid for by the state through the federal government. If we had children, that possibility would be increased and for the children as well. The part these people do not realize is my income can NEVER be counted, since that would recognize our relationship. So when my boyfriend wants financial aid for school, my income does not matter. It would not matter to my children if they are not biological and adopted. From a purely FINANCIAL aspect, my boyfriend and I are better off not married. We save a significant amount on our tax bill every year as "roommates" though we are more committed in length of time together than ANY of Rush Limbaugh's wives and certainly more faithful than Newt Gingrich. And neither of us have had a committed relationship that led to a divorce a la Ronald Reagan.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 11:19 a.m.

marshall - you are killing me here. first - the claim is fiscal responsibility at the state level just doesn't meet out: the costs of being bigoted out-weigh the fairly tiny costs of covering the few employees who are willing to jump through the hoops to prove they have a domestic partner. There are two main costs (litigation and medicaid) there are many other intangible costs (i'd list but space is limited). This is the reason the vast majority of fortune 500 companies cover domestic partners. Talented, happy, productive employees are good thing. Second: your 'why get married' question moot because its the same question straight or gay. Same sex couples do get married for the same reasons opposite sex couples do. There are rights and responsibilities that go with being married. It is the same commitment. The differences, as I am finding out, are that gay couples in this bigoted state (and nationally) have to pay an attorney to write up a series of contracts, wills, powers of attorneys, and various financial instruments for gay couples to able to operate like a married couple. Thousands of dollars worth. And its on-going not just a one time thing. We all pay taxes under the same rubric of rules, shouldn't I get get the same services and treatment for my money? Don't I get to be equal? oh, btw...just so you know, domestic partnerships have to be proven - often via a long list of requirement: both names on house, both names on the cars, both names on utility bills, shared bank accounts, named in wills, names on life insurance policies - its an incredible invasion of privacy but you have to turn that stuff over get domestic partner coverage.

Marshall Applewhite

Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 2:47 a.m.

So if it's so much better to remain unmarried, what's the crying and screaming about?!?


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 12:36 a.m.

So what? If you took an anonymous poll on interracial marriage, I'm sure you'd get a similar result. Ignorance is an American virtue. We fear what we don't understand. Gay men and women, you are tax-paying citizens and you deserve to be heard. There is no time like the present.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 12:30 a.m.

I am an old fashioned Mormon and have 8 wives and 64 children. I am outraged that my insurance company will only cover one wife and the 5 kids I have with her. Shame, shame shame ! And yes, I am a bisexual Mormon with a boyfriend and my insurance won't cover him either though we've been together for 2 years with the wive's approval. Shame, shame , shame ! Good Day


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 1:05 a.m.

Some people don't agree that same sex partners should get benefits. That doesn't mean we think gay people are less a person than a straight one (at least I don't), or that a gay person can't love a child or whoever they want. All you can read into it is that we don't agree with the benefit aspect.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 12:50 a.m.

Is that anything like the family pictured in the article?


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 10:25 p.m.

Part of this is dependent on how the question is framed. If you ask people if the government should pay for anything, including the street in front of their house, they say no. If you ask people if the government should discriminate against gays on the issue of health coverage, the numbers would shift.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 3:38 a.m.

Um. yeah, I think that was bobr's point.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 12:13 a.m.

Nice try! Suppose you asked: Should the military be involved in other countries? But what if you asked: Should we stop genocide in other countries?


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 9:22 p.m.

I don't see this as a "liberal" or "conservative" issue, but one of basic fairness. People doing the SAME job are entitled to the SAME benefits for their families. You cannot make marriage a prerequisite for receiving health care benefits for partners since Michigan prohibits same sex partners from marrying. The current law is a clear violation of the equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment. Hope this one goes to the Supreme Court!


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 3:34 a.m.

MA -- Huh? Do you have some sort of insider knowledge of the reasoning behind the Supreme Court's decisions about their docket? Your example has nothing to do with anything.

Marshall Applewhite

Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 2:42 a.m.

The Supreme Court wouldn't even take the case to overturn a ballot measure which was approved by a vast majority of Michigan residents. Sorry.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 12:14 a.m.

"The current law is a clear violation of the equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment." Really? I guess its settled then. You have given your position and that's final.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 9:08 p.m.

Here's a suggestion for everyone who is so upset about "footing the bill" for other people's insurance. How about we go to a Single Payer System? Everyone has access to the same healthcare and everyone pays for it! hooray, problem solved.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 2:19 p.m.

It would never work, except for how it works in Germany, England, Sweden, Norway etc.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 8:45 p.m.

The Free Press noted that is was a poll of 600 likely voters. Michigan has 7,282,909 registered voters. 600 is well less than 1% of eligible voters. yeah. this is laughable analysis. Fight on, ACLU!


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 10:07 p.m.

also, let me rephrase: the manner in which this information was presented in the FB and lacks conviction. unless more information is given about how the sample was obtained, as well as the statistical analysis performed is explained to realize these percentages, the end result reads as a bit one-sided, to say the least, and certainly is not generalizable. There is no explanation of spuriousness nor of any other factor that might compromise the data. The short write up both in the FP and here leaves too much unsaid. I'll grant (after pulling out the calculator) that 600 is numerically sufficient, but can't speak to the details of the sampling.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 9:53 p.m.

Ok, so the number is representative at 95% within 4pts. but how was the sample derived?


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 9:09 p.m.

that is actually a large enough number to be a representative sample. There are other criteria that need to be met still, but that number of respondents doesn't disqualify the research.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 9:07 p.m.

Hmmmph... They base election projections on the same types of numbers on election nights. It all depends on the methodology utilized for the poll.

Marshall Applewhite

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 8:29 p.m.

Domestic partner benefits are the most slippery slope ever. If they are allowed, are we then required to allow bisexuals to have multiple partners of both sexes receiving benefits? It just doesn't add up.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 3:40 p.m.

" . . .are we then required to allow bisexuals to have multiple partners of both sexes receiving benefits?" Can't you just picture it? Or are you already doing that?


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 3:43 a.m.

I think you're purposefully missing the definition of bisexual. They aren't polygamists. They are just someone who finds both sexes attractive. That doesn't mean they are going to marry two people. It just means they might date a girl at one point in their life and then turn around and date a boy. They just have twice the chance of getting lucky. Poor you. Only no chance.

Jon Saalberg

Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 3:38 a.m.

Sounds like you have been watching too many Santorum speeches.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 12:49 a.m.

MA, if that isn't hate speech I don't know what is.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 10:55 p.m.

Heterosexuals marrying more than one partner of the opposite sex is much more natural than same sex marriage. I would never recognize a gay marriage. I'd wish you the best, but marriage, No. Just because it's a non-issue now doesn't mean it will never be.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 9:18 p.m.

That's ridiculous. No one has every argued for heterosexual bigamists to be able to insure their multiple wives. This is a non-issue.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 8:38 p.m.

i think you misunderstand the definition of a "slippery slope" argument. what you put forth in this comment is the slippery slope. Just because one thing is opened up, it doesn't mean that the next logical step is the most extreme one (which you take in your comment).

Jake C

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:52 p.m.

I love how the discussion on this article basically breaks down into two camps: "Health care should be a human right" vs. "Sorry, we don't have enough money to provide your human rights". Not really all that different from so many eras in the past, in that regard. "Sure, we'd love to set all these slaves free, but it would destroy so many hard-working small businesses! Why do you want to punish the job creators?"


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 11 p.m.

Just so there is no question. I am against benefits to domestic partners.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 9:26 p.m.

Jake C isn't a slave a person that has to work for the benefit of others? So you want the rest of the state to be your slave? Work to pay for your partners benefit?


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 8:31 p.m.

Jake C "I love how the discussion on this article basically breaks down into two camps:" If their were only one camp there wouldn't be much need for discussion! You would just let the mouth piece at the top decide while the sheep follow!


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 8:13 p.m.

Jake C You are arguing both sides of the argument! Go back to the drawing board! "Better yet, don't blame us because you can't find a job that provides decent health care benefits vs sarcastic "Sure, we'd love to set all these slaves free, but it would destroy so many hard-working small businesses! Why do you want to punish the job creators?"

The Black Stallion3

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:58 p.m.

What do slaves have to do with this jake? Are you saying you know what it was like to be a slave? You have no idea and never will.

The Black Stallion3

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:46 p.m.

Let me get this Straight..........I can not afford insurance for my wife and children but you expect me to come up with the money to insure your same sex partner? Something is wrong here folks. Don't blame me because your commander in chief let you down.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 2:17 p.m.

I have to work outside all year, I think everybody should have to work outside all year, people that have heated offices are spoiled. Why should govt employees get heat, air conditioning and chairs! My income dropped 50% in 2010, I think everybody should take a 50% cut in pay. My cat died, I think everybody should have their cat die.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 12:47 a.m.

I'm sorry you aren't able to cover your family with insurance, which is why I support Obama's health care plan.

The Black Stallion3

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 8:02 p.m.

Why don't you spend some of that extra money from your good paying job and buy your friends some insurance?

Jake C

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:53 p.m.

Better yet, don't blame us because you can't find a job that provides decent health care benefits. Maybe you'll be able to find better family insurance under the new Health insurance exchanges created under the ACA?


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:41 p.m.

Id be ok if Ann Arbor would become its own little city state. At least peoples opinions here make sense. The rest of the state its a wasteland.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:35 p.m.

I doubt anyone is surprised by the tone of some of the posters here! This is Ann Arbor The Berkly of the Midwest! Some of you ONLY want majority rule when YOU are in the majority! But if you are in the minority then you want to suspend the rules UNTIL you are in the majority again. What a crock!

Marshall Applewhite

Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 2:51 a.m.

Yeah, that pretty much sums things up.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:22 p.m.

I am with the majority of Michiganians on this issue. One of the most ambitious plans of the Michigan Republican Party following the GOP landslide in November of 2010 was to spearhead the enactment of this wonderful law. I am insulted and flabbergasted that Ann Arbor City Council would pass a resolution to direct the City Attorney to expend taxpayer-funded resources of that office to assist the ACLU in overturning a law that was not only duly enacted but also enjoys widespread support of the majority of American citizens. Seems like certain City Council members sponsored this resolution for a Golden Pandy Award.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 1:08 p.m.

Roadman :Your gleeful post finally makes it all clear what your #1 agenda is ( which heretofore seemed a bit "mixed message- y", given some of those --and their supposed causes-- you've repeatedly voiced support for here and elsewhere. got it! ( and also abhor it).


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 9:06 p.m.

these targeted laws seem great until it's you that they target

The Black Stallion3

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:21 p.m.

@ enso....why do you continually refer to black people? If you want to favor gay rights then do it on your own and leave black people out of it...fight your own battles.


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 10:11 a.m.

Forever27 - Heterosexual couples who are not married are also denied benefits. It is not considered a civil rights issue. You are stretching it. The cure is to legalize marriage for gay couples, not giver benefits to anyone who says they are living with someone.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 3:33 p.m.

Hmmmm . . . how many shoes would a stallion need, I wonder?


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 8:37 p.m.

blackstallion, the reason that enso uses that analogy is because it's a similar example of arbitrary decisions to limit access to resources for specific groups within society. By definition it is discriminatory, which is illegal. You cannot target specific parts of the population and deny them access to resources that everyone else has. It's that simple.

Mike D.

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:31 p.m.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:30 p.m.

Chill out. It's an analogy. And this time, at least, it's a well-placed one.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

They may think they have the upper hand now, but undeniably, the tide is turning, and soon the social conservatives will no longer be able to enforce their hatred, fear, and discrimination upon people for whom they have nothing but disdain. Gay marriage will happen in MIchigan, maybe not this year or next year, but soon. And then, finally, this issue will become a (thankfully) moot point. Keep on hatin', folks. Your era as a political force that anyone can afford to take seriously is quickly passing, and you and your outdated values will become even more irrelevant.


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 10:07 a.m.

I agree that gay marriage will someday become the legal norm. And that will indeed solve the problem. What I have a problem with in your comment is the hatred that emanates from you, albeit you displace it on others. Some people simply do not believe in gay relationships. They do not necessarily hate anyone. It's just their belief. Tolerance is called for, not hatred.

Marshall Applewhite

Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 2:53 a.m.

Sounds like you need to spend some time outside of Ann Arbor.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:50 p.m.


The Black Stallion3

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:27 p.m.

Dream on !!!!

Marshall Applewhite

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:12 p.m.

There simply isn't money in the budget for the luxury of being able to provide benefits to any random person living with a state employee. Sorry folks. Besides, I thought Obama was going to pay for everyone's health care?


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 2:14 p.m.

When did Obama say that?

Mike D.

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:29 p.m.

I agree. And I would out married spouses into that group. Abolish benefits for all partners, married and otherwise. However, given that we aren't likely to do that, it makes sense to offer them to all people, not just those who happen to be heterosexual.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:06 p.m.

And most Americans once believed that black people were sanctioned by God to be the slaves of white people. Doesn't make it right.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 3:15 p.m.

I love the revisionist history.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:41 p.m.

No most people did not believe that! EVER!


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:04 p.m.

Let's save even more money and reinforce family values. No shared benefits for anyone that has remarried after divorce. That could help prevent the nuclear family blowing up.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 6:47 p.m.

We fought the Civil War over this issue. Could a majority of people in this country discriminate against one or another segment of this society? The answer is no. We should have figured this out by now. Freedom is not freedom for the majority, but freedom for all.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 6:32 p.m.

too bad this isn't a matter of opinion, it's a matter of civil rights and equal access. It could be 100% against same-sex benefits and it still would be a violation of the equal protection clause.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 6:31 p.m.

A "poll" is not a vote. No one asked me or my husband or my sister or.... Who took the poll? If we let the majority decide the quality of life of the minority I cannot imagine what kind of world this would be.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 2:13 p.m.

Good golly eyeheart, it is a nightmare! What with business profits at record highs, unemployment down 1.5%, the stock market back up, crime down and more kids getting access to health care. A Pure nightmare!


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 8:14 p.m.

"If we let the majority decide the quality of life of the minority I cannot imagine what kind of world this would be" We've been living in that nightmare since November of '08. Thankfully, we are getting ready to wake up.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:38 p.m.

This is what happens when you split people up into groups. Last I knew we were all humans, its only when someones decides they are something else that they lose rights.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:32 p.m.

Where have you been? The last time I knew it took a majority to do most things!

Michigan Man

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 6:29 p.m.

Getting fatigued by this issue. The people have spoken in a democratic fashion. Could this issue be tabled for a few years, if not longer?

Jon Saalberg

Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 3:36 a.m.

Yes, I'm sure people were also "fatigued" by segregation, but that barrier eventually fell, as this one will, too.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 12:51 a.m.

yeah, hate to make you so tired of an issue that MATTERS to some people, It is far more important that the stupid whiners of the stadium bridge project. It is FAR more important to more people than the child porn case. It is far more important to people than the fate of UM football or basketball, but because YOU are fatigued by it, it should go away. Here's a clue. We will NOT shut up about it until the is FULL MARRIAGE EQUALITY. You can drag your feet all you want, but it is inevitable. You can either get aboard the train, or be run over by it. Ask those that wanted to keep schools segregated or not allow whites to marry blacks.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 9:06 p.m.

it can be tabled as soon as politicians stop trying to marginalize a segment of the population because it's popular to pick on homosexuals.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 9:06 p.m.

Sorry you're "fatigued" by people being treated unfairly. Maybe you should only read good news.

The Black Stallion3

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 6:20 p.m.

"A new poll shows most Michigan voters don't like the idea of government-provided health-care benefits to domestic partners of public employees" Seems to me that this is pretty straight forward....what is it that is so hard to understand? It has been voted on and the people have spoken.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 2:11 p.m.

What was voted on was the issue of gay marriage, and the people that put that issue on the ballot stated clearly that they would NOT go after domestic partner benefits.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 12:45 a.m.

If all laws had to wait for majority approval to pass we'd still be back in the days of only white, property-owning men having the ability to vote.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 6:59 p.m.

They never asked me! But I'm not a person, am I? We are quickly going back to the separate yet "equal" means.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 6:36 p.m.

"the people" have no choice in this matter. "The people" could all feel that blacks and minorities don't have a right to access to equal protection, but that still wouldn't make it constitutional.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 6:16 p.m.

Denying people their civil rights should NOT BE UP FOR POPULAR VOTE. The "majority" thought blacks shouldn't mix with whites, the "majority" thought women shouldn't vote, and the "majority" thought inter-racial marriage should be banned. Who cares what the majority thinks. And YES, this is a civil rights issue! It's about gay people having the same access to things everyone else has access to (marriage, benefits, etc).

Ed Kimball

Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 1:11 p.m.

a2citizen -- They want the same rights to group coverage that other families get. And most families pay a substantial portion of their insurance costs these days.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 6:58 p.m.

@ a2citizen - NO, we don't have the same access. By Michigan law I can't get married. However, any straight people out there can happily just run into any old court house or church and get hitched. Well, isn't that fine and dandy for them. By denying this right I and many like me are second class citizens. Domestic Partnership benefits at least get us closer to a level playing ground.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 6:49 p.m.

They have the same access...they just want someone else to foot the bill.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 6:34 p.m.

@black stallion, when you block their access to marriage, what do you expect their answer to your question to be? You can't put someone in a corner and then blame them for taking the only way out.

The Black Stallion3

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 6:25 p.m.

You want access to marriage benefits without the marriage? Something just doesn't fit here.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 6:23 p.m.

Domestic partner benefits are not civil rights, if they were civil rights you wouldn't have to get them from a Domestic partner.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 6:09 p.m.

The will of the people!


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 2:10 p.m.

The will of the people was that Barak Obama be president , how well did you accept that?


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 12:46 a.m.

Yeah, kind alike the will of the people in Mississippi to have blacks in a "separate but equal" school, or have special drinking fountains or ride in the back of the bus. The will of the morons is not what is RIGHT.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 5:50 p.m.

What are people afraid of. First you say gay people can't marry...then you say unmarried people can't have benifits. What's next. A family is a family. If you have family plans, it should include all families. Mr. Snyder you are a bully. And those who stand by and say nothing, simply because it doesn't affect them...cowards. Hey Rick, you are not only the governor of those who agree with you... You are the governor of the entire state of Michigan. That includes...Gay, Straight, Married, Unmarried. Didn't they explain that to you when you took office?

Ed Kimball

Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 1:07 p.m.

Grye -- I agree. Cover all Michigan residents. In fact, cover all US residents. All other developed countries cover their residents. Why doesn't ours?


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 8:29 p.m.

Limits need to be established. Otherwise, cover all Michigan residents.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 5:49 p.m.

I notice no one is preventing children in such homes from getting benefits. Any girlfriend or roommate (male or female) could claim "partnership" and get free insurance. We simply cannot afford free benefits for everybody. And as Michigan voters already voted that marriage is between a man and a woman, there should be no surprise that public funds should not be used for non-married (legally, in Michigan) partners.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

Funny. Most insurance plans/employers don't required married couples to even live together to get the benefits, but domestic partners must meet several requirements - joint financial responsibility (bank accounts, credit), and have lived together for 18 months. Sounds like the real propensity for fraud is two opposite sex people running down to the courthouse. All they need is the marriage license for benefits; actual relationship not required.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 12:45 a.m.

@grye, It is MY tax dollar that allows a spouse to get insurance without working for the state, It is MY tax dollar that allows a child of a person to get that same insurance. I dont see the state running DNA tests to INSURE their is not a child of a friend or other loved one to make sure that child is in fact legal. If a person is willing to sign the LEGAL paperwork that says they are committed, and are a domestic partner AND then need to provide proof of living together and shared expense. This is not like putting a friend on the family plan of a cell phone,. It costs that employee extra to insure them. What sane person would do that? What is to prevent a sham marriage to get insurance? Why couldn't I adopt y brothers child for better insurance. Your arguments are ridiculous. The fact it, you are using money as your defense for allowing bigotry to continue.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 8:28 p.m.

Jake: When it is my tax dollars that are paying for a sham relationship so someone is covered by health care, it is a problem. I don't disagree that everyone should have some coverage, however paying for some who don't meet the criteria is wrong.

Mike D.

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:35 p.m.

It is extremely costly (and in many cases impossible, due to bigoted judges) to have both parents be legal guardians of their children when the parents are of the same gender. That means that, in many cases, benefits to children have to come through the domestic partner. Take away the domestic partner benefits and you take away the children's benefits.

Jake C

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:25 p.m.

Oh, and after my experiences in college, I wouldn't let a plain ol' roommate share my phone plan, let alone my health insurance plan.

Jake C

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:25 p.m.

"Any girlfriend or roommate (male or female) could claim "partnership" and get free insurance" I've got some issues with that. #1: What would be so bad with actually having more people insured and getting better quality health-care? #2: I'm not aware of many cases where a family health insurance plan costs the same amount as an individual plan. The employee is almost always paying some percentage of the costs out-of-pocket to cover their partner. #3: Some couples (even heterosexual ones!) get married before they're ready just so they can get covered under the spouse's health insurance. Should we have a screening process to find out whether they "really love each other" before allowing a spouse to be covered under insurance? Gotta prevent that fraud and waste somehow, right??

Ron Granger

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 5:40 p.m.

Many people are opposed to anything that does not directly benefit them. I see that reflected here in many comments, where the majority of people hide beyond anonymity.

Middle America

Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 9:34 a.m.

jcj is right! the founding fathers wanted all the good christians of america to be able to legalize discrimination! texas, constitution, etc...

say it plain

Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 4:30 a.m.

okay, okay, I hear ya @johnnya2, but I was trying to get those who might be part of that whole "founding-fathers fan club" as it were to understand that just because a majority of people believe something like women/non-white people/non-whatever people don't deserve the same rights as they do, that doesn't mean it should be legally codified, not even according to those old white men writing the constitution... Yes, I accept your point about the whole 'supermajority' thing!


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 12:38 a.m.

The premise that the "founding fathers" had it right is the flawed premise. Who wrote the constitution? Old white men. How many blacks were involved? How many women? How many gays? How any hispanics? Based on the founding fathers "principles" a black man would be worth 3/5th of a person. The fact that it took a super majority to actually end that is everything that is wrong with them. The "founders" were no better than Saddam Hussein in the way they treated the people they considered wrong, ie black or female.

say it plain

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 10:49 p.m.

And why the Founding Fathers also decided that a Bill of Rights was crucial, to protect the rights of people to equal consideration under the law, even if a 'majority' of them thought, hey, you know what, I'd prefer not to consider blacks/non-Christians/women/gay people 'equal'.

Ron Granger

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 10:28 p.m.

@jcj: "Well please explain WHY the decided that the masses could VOTE on what they want with the majority deciding the issue? Get real with a real argument not made up opinions!" The founding fathers did no such thing. We live in a Republic, not a Democracy. Maybe this will explain it for you. And you should get real and stop making up opinions. United States Constitution Art. 4 Sec. 4 Par. 1 "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican form of Government." [Not a democracy.] Pledge of Allegiance – "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands …" Democracy: Operates by direct majority vote of the people. When an issue is to be decided, the entire population votes on it; the majority wins and rules. Republic: Where the general population elects representatives who then pass laws to govern the nation.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:30 p.m.

say it plain "That's why our Founding Fathers--for those of you who respect and admire them--decided it was best to *not* dictate from the 'majority'" Well please explain WHY the decided that the masses could VOTE on what they want with the majority deciding the issue? Get real with a real argument not made up opinions!

say it plain

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 7:09 p.m.

yeah, @Buster W., and human nature has achieved a lot of nasty stuff in the name of in-group/out-group dynamics. That's why our Founding Fathers--for those of you who respect and admire them--decided it was best to *not* dictate from the 'majority', but to at least try and do the 'right' thing, the thing that preserves important ideals, like *equality*. Took a while for the nation to work out that whole idea in the face of differences based on color, or country of origin, or gender. We're still waiting on the issue of sexual orientation, but someday, someday, this will look just as 'wrong', even if the 'majority' of people asked in a poll find it just fine to discriminate on this individual difference.

Buster W.

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 5:52 p.m.

"Many people are opposed to anything that does not directly benefit them." It's called human nature.