Federal judge blocks Michigan law banning domestic partner benefits
Previous coverage:Editor's note: The headline of this story has been corrected to more accurately reflect the federal court ruling. Also the story has been changed to reflect that the ruling blocks further implementation of the law.
Public employees in the state of Michigan can no longer be denied health insurance coverage for their same-sex domestic partners.
A federal judge issued a ruling Friday that blocks a law signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in December 2011.
Proponents of the law, including the governor, argued extending health care benefits to non-married, live-in partners costs the state too much money.
The American Civil Liberties Union challenged the law on behalf of five gay and lesbian public employees in the state in January of 2012. Two of the couples named as plaintiffs in the suit are Ann Arbor Public Schools employees, Ann Arbor Open teacher Peter Ways and his partner Joe Breakey, as well as Slauson Middle School teacher Theresa Bassett and her partner Carol Kennedy.
U.S. District Court Judge David Lawson found that the law "discriminated by forcing cities, counties, school districts and community colleges to cancel family benefits for gay and lesbian employees in committed relationships while heterosexual employees had the ability to marry their partners to maintain health insurance," a press release issued by the ACLU stated.
Lawson issued a preliminary injunction in the case Bassett vs. Snyder, not a final decision. He said the plaintiffs' claims that the Michigan law is unconstitutional are "plausible." Lawson's ruling does not end the lawsuit but it prevents the law from being enforced in the meantime, reports say.
"We're breathing a sigh of relief right now," Ways said in the release. "This law was clearly meant to target families like ours and to make us feel as though we didn't count."
Same-sex couples cannot marry in Michigan, although it is unclear how the state's constitutional amendment, passed in 2004, prohibiting gays and lesbians from marrying will hold up, given the U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this week on the Defense of Marriage Act. According to the Associated Press, another judge is considering whether to strike down Michigan's nearly 9-year-old ban on same-sex marriage. It is not known when U.S. District Court Judge Bernard Friedman will make a decision, the AP reported.
Ways, Bassett and other Ann Arbor schools teachers were expected to lose their partner benefits at the end of the month. The Supreme Court ruling bought some more time and the district was able to arrange for the partner benefits to be reinstated through July 31. However, with the domestic partner benefit ban being blocked, the district hopes to offer these benefits to employees again permanently.
District spokeswoman Liz Margolis said the district's legal counsel was sent the judge's ruling and is reviewing it.
"We are pleased (with the ruling) and the fact that at least for the next month we'll be able to offer these benefits for our employees," she said, adding the unconstitutional ruling bodes well for the district being able to permanently restore the domestic partner benefits. "We'll also be waiting to see if the governor does anything with the ruling."
The ACLU argued the Michigan Public Employee Domestic Partner Benefit Restriction Act was "particularly irrational" because it allowed municipalities to provide health insurance coverage for other family members, such as cousins, aunts and nephews, but excluded same-sex domestic partners.
"This law served no purpose to the state of Michigan other than to needlessly discriminate against hard-working families," ACLU Executive Director Kary Moss, who is a graduate of the Ann Arbor Public Schools, said in a statement. "It's hard to encourage talented people and their families to work for public employers in Michigan when they're denied the ability to take care of each other."
Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for AnnArbor.com. Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sun, Jun 30, 2013 : 1:48 p.m.
PART II Just as relevant is the corruption of the press, which REFUSES to inform you the readers of the dissenting opinions that are counter the dogmatic leftist narrative. The goal is clearly for the leftist democrats in the press to shape public opinion using ignorance engineered by the shackles of political correctness. You pay the price as unfortunate, duped readers exposed to half of the story. The lesson is clear - never trust the leftist liberal press in the US to tell you the truth about anything important and that is especially true at AA dot com. ...stay tuned for all their reports on corruption in the obama white house.....NOT
Sun, Jun 30, 2013 : 1:42 p.m.
@ypsigirl4ever: That is a great question and good to see someone here is trying to approach this issue with something other then the closed minds liberal are so famous for. The reason the supreme court decision is wrong was stated in the dissenting opinions, but not covered by the press. Those opinions also explain why the decision was along ideological lines, meaning it was pre-determined based on leftist dogma rather than the evidence, making the arguments irrelevant. Equal protection under the law does not mean identical, nor was equal meant to make every tiny group with any petulant grievance a protected class. To your question, except in very extreme cases such as when democrat states voted to keep racist laws in place, the federal government should not be making royal proclamations overturning state constitutional matters. Without any evidence, supporters of traditional marriage were blindly assigned sinister motives equated to "discrimination" by leftist justices, clearly showing biased opinions were interjected into the majority decision. Imagine you support abortion and the highest court in the land, without any evidence, decides that your opinion stems from you hatred of babies and decides the case accordingly. Justice Scalia "…By formally declaring anyone opposed to same-sex marriage an enemy of human decency, the majority arms well every challenger to a state law restricting marriage to its traditional definition. . . " Justice Alito "Same-sex marriage presents a highly emotional and important question of public policy—but not a difficult question of constitutional law. The Constitution does not guarantee the right to enter into a same-sex marriage. Indeed, no provision of the Constitution speaks to the issue." END OF PART 1
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 2:24 p.m.
God's law is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Mon, Jul 1, 2013 : 2:35 p.m.
Thankfully "God" doesn't write laws in the state of Michigan, or anywhere else for that matter
Sun, Jun 30, 2013 : 4:47 a.m.
God law about marriage was? Again, inquiring minds want to know the exact verbiage -- verse, chapter. Considering the Bible was written by MEN and, "Common-Law" not "formal" marriage was the course of the day during B.C. (Old Testament) and most of A.C. (New Testament), good luck with finding God's Law on this in the Bible. We're waiting....
Sun, Jun 30, 2013 : 3:36 a.m.
You're right: total fiction.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 2:13 p.m.
I want everyone to be happy, but marriage for homosexuals is not the key to their happiness. ..and certainly shattering American values even less so. This entire issue is nonsense. It is unacceptable that activist courts continue to re-write the constitution and overturn the will of the people. I predict the American nuclear family that built this country will continue to collapse and the nation continue it's decline as engineered by obama and his stooges. Homosexuals by themselves are not a statistically relevant number of Americans, but the shattering of the intent and definition of marriage will be a catastrophe over time because once it is no longer between a man and woman, there is no natural/legal stopping point, something AA dot com is too cowardly to address.
Sun, Jun 30, 2013 : 4:44 a.m.
Can you define where in the U.S. Constitution it specifically discuss marriage? Inquiring minds want to know? The only close reference somewhat is all Americans deserve "Equal Treatment Under the Law", which is why DOMA was overruled by the U.S. Supreme Court. So your point is?
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 4:29 a.m.
Will fathers soon be able to marry their sons or daughters, or mothers marry their son or daughter?
Mon, Jul 1, 2013 : 2:43 p.m.
Why? Are you having fantasies of incest again? Please seek immediate treatment
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 12:32 p.m.
I'm not sure why you conflate gay marriage with incest.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 11:52 a.m.
Why is it irrational?
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 11:33 a.m.
This is the same irrational argument that was made when people were trying to fight for interacial marriage, which by the way, is also a 'sin'.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 8:10 a.m.
Cats and dogs? Balloons and juicers?
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 4:03 a.m.
I will never acknowledge same sex marriage. Call it something else. Marriage is between a man and a woman.
Mon, Jul 1, 2013 : 1:15 a.m.
no, you call your idea something different, marriage is now a legal ted, like that or not!
Sun, Jun 30, 2013 : 4:40 a.m.
Who says Marriage is between a man and a woman? The U.S. Supreme Court with striking down DOMA and Prop 8 in California, doesn't agree with your view. Also, do you know in the Bible no "formal" marriage ceremonies are noted. In fact, marriages were "common-law" in nature. With such, any two people (human beings) can be in a common law relationship and defined themselves are married or committed to each other, regardless of the biological sex of the other partner. Kind of knocks you point on "Marriage is between a man and a woman" out of the park so to speak, you think?
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 11:25 p.m.
The government can redefine words to mean whatever they want to. "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less." WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH Welcome to 1984.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 2:42 a.m.
I am tired of the so-called Christians who use the Bible to take away the rights of others. First, there are only about seven "slaughter verses" that speak of same-sex activity and that is in regard to people taking part in idol worship or those who first turned from God.Their activities were considered sinful and abominable because they had turned from God. No where is there any mention of same-sex, loving relationships. The great man Jesus, whom many of us call Savior, never spoke of such relationships. Remember folks, the Bible was used to condone slavery as well as to make women second class citizens. Do we want to go backward or learn to love each other as Jesus commanded?
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 4:02 a.m.
I sure don't agree with your interpretation.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 3:04 a.m.
Good point Harold. Thanks for making it!
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 2:36 a.m.
Good to read and the Federal Court did an excellent job here! Wonder how Governor Rick Snyder feels about this.... 2014 can't come soon enough!
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 4 a.m.
Umm Bob... Read up! "Public employees in the state of Michigan can no longer be denied health insurance coverage for their same-sex domestic partners. A federal judge issued a ruling Friday that blocks a law signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in December 2011." Blocks the law means exactly, the previous action of allowing State of Michigan, Municipal or Public Education Employees Domestic Partner Benefits, must be ceased. Reinstatement of the benefit must take place immediately to make the recipients (or plaintiffs) in the lawsuit whole. I.E. -Civil Tort Law. As for LBGT marriage in Michigan, it doesn't bother me in the least as I focus on what's occurring in my OWN HOME. Maybe if more Michiganders would take this view on LBGT marriage, they would cease being the judge and jury who other state residents decide to live with and love. Maybe you should take this view also Basic Bob.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 3:42 a.m.
Read more clearly. This is a *temporary* injunction. The court did not rule on the issue, although a judge did rule that the case was plausible. It does nothing to address the issue of the right for people to marry in Michigan. It only grants family employee benefits (health care) to a very few unmarried partners of state and local government employees. Don't get your hopes up that suddenly we will have gay marriage in Michigan or a Democratic legislature any time soon.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 1:56 a.m.
@ Tim Hornton, re: "the Bible and churches still go strong and withstand and watch decay every new "evolved" law." A lot of us out here aren't too terribly interested in what a bunch of guys said back in the Bronze Age, a few thousand years before the Age of Reason. If "every new "evolved" law" is were wrong, we'd still be saying, "You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard." And we'd still be burning witches (not that that doesn't still happen). I understand that a lot of folks out there harken back to those "good old days," but luckily, they are in the minority.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 1:12 a.m.
The correct response is: "He has made his decision; now let him enforce it!" -- Andrew Jackson See Worchester v. Georgia Hopefully, they can take the money to fund these benefits from the Judge's budget.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 9:37 a.m.
Do you see the difference between benefits that are imposed by judicial fiat and those that are passed by legislators? Elected legislators should vote on expenditures. They should not be imposed by judges. It's that democracy stuff that we talk about and used to hold dear. Perhaps you should think before you type?
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 3:43 a.m.
"Hopefully, they can take the money to fund these benefits from the Judge's budget." Can we take money from the Judge's budget to fund Governor Snyder's per diem benefit, pension and health care? Fair is fair and all SonnyDog09. Also, point of clarity! Employees receiving Domestic Partner Benefits pay a premium for the Health Care Insurance Policy with the State of Michigan. Should we have the judge paid for "traditional" married couples employee premium? What about those single folks who happen to be state employees and receive healthcare benefits? Can the Judge pay the salary, healthcare and retirement benefits of our State Legislators. Specifically the ones that still will receive a pension after a certain number of years of service, since ending State House Representatives and Senators pension benefit only applies to new legislators sworn into office on January 1, 2015. Think....before you type.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 12:51 a.m.
Throughout history in every nation in the world, when lack of morals go through the roof then that nation has experienced untold misery and pain. This is true of cities too (Detroit?). I've known many gay people and the one's in AA for the most part are pretty decent people (except for 2 lesbians I knew, horrible human beings) however... The facts remain, either gay sex is wrong or right, Who decides? "There is a way that appears to be right to a man, but its end is the way to death." Try saving yourself people, your getting old ugly and are going to die. I've seen mocking fools and their "truth" come and go, but the Bible and churches still go strong and withstand and watch decay every new "evolved" law.
Sun, Jun 30, 2013 : 11:40 a.m.
war has cost us Trillions over the last 60years what a waste of money.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 3:34 a.m.
How condescending? "I've known many gay people and the one's in AA for the most part are pretty decent people (except for 2 lesbians I knew, horrible human beings)." Do you happen to have friends that are Minority or African-American too? WOW!
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 2:11 a.m.
2 Peter 2:10.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 2:03 a.m.
Poly cotton blend t-shirts are my fave. That's all I can say.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 2:03 a.m.
All you can eat shrimp at Red Lobster is also incredible and borderline worth going to Hell. I usually go on a Saturday night so I can repent it clean on Sunday.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 2:01 a.m.
My second favorite sin is bacon. That stuff is worth going to Hell. I really wanna try the bacon from the pigs fed a strict diet of marijuana.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 1:41 a.m.
My favorite sin is the cheeseburger. Thank God for that one.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 1:41 a.m.
More coffee, less preaching.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 12:09 a.m.
@ Rosarium, re: "In effect we're saying it's okay for passengers on the Titanic to paint their individual deck chair pink. I'm a little more worried about what is happening with the waterline." Can you provide us with a translation of that?
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 1:59 a.m.
Jack, if you're addressing me, I'm jumping in the water. I'd rather be frozen in 'sinsicle' than be on a 'life raft of morals' full of 'holier than thou'.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 1:43 a.m.
Really? The naivete is adorable. Or else you've already got dibs on a lifeboat and have checked it for leaks, right?
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 1:39 a.m.
I think the translation is 'homophobic comment about how all gays like pink while our moral standards are being flushed down the toilet'.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 11:47 p.m.
Maybe this is a little mean spirited of me, but I would have enjoyed it if this article had including a comment from our governor, even if it were "No comment."
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 3:51 a.m.
Actually, Sandra asking for a reaction from Governor Snyder on this ruling would not be mean spirited in the least. Hopefully A2.com will be able to get Governor Snyder "on the record" for his reaction about this decision. I for one is very interested in what our local Ann Arbor native (by way of Battle Creek) Governor, has to say about this.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 11:25 p.m.
In the Supreme Court decision on DOMA they had the opportunity to say that denying marriage to homosexual couples was a violation of the rights of gay couples in all states. They did not do that. Instead they said that the federal goverment could not supersede the decisions in states that pass laws that recognize gay marriages. Thus, their decision was a support for the supremecy of State laws on marriage. Regardless of whether it is right or wrong, I think this judge is misreading the mood of the Supreme Court. In this case the federal judge is saying that the constitution prohibits discrimination against gay couples and over ruling a State law. I think the Supreme Court is likely to say that State law in this case prevails. The reporter may also be misinterpreting the judge's ruling as thinking that it is likely the plaintiff's will prevail in the case. Rather, he may be siding with the injunction because he thinks that the greater harm would come by denying the benefits while the case proceeds than would be caused to the State by allowing the benefits. The public's views are changing fairly rapidly but I think that it will take a vote of the people of Michigan rather than the Supreme Court to recognize gay marriage in Michigan.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 11:20 p.m.
In effect we're saying it's okay for passengers on the Titanic to paint their individual deck chair pink. I'm a little more worried about what is happening with the waterline.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 1:37 a.m.
I would paint my deck chair camouflage.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 10:50 p.m.
Can anyone explain (compare and contrast) why there should be a tax benefit for gay couples that chose to be in a domestic partnership versus married heterosexual couples? I appreciate your time in providing a kind and thoughtful reply.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 3:32 a.m.
The Domestic Partner Employee Health Benefit applies to LGBT and unmarried Hetrosexual couples who don't desire to be forced into marriage for health insurance. I hope that answers your question,
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 11:17 p.m.
This ruling has nothing to do with tax benefits. It deals with employer benefits like health care.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 9:37 p.m.
Thank God ! I've been in a partnership for 32 years now, I really did not think I would live to see these changes.. About Time !
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 8:13 p.m.
How mant teachers will lose their jobs over the cost of this?
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 2:36 a.m.
What is mant?
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 2:07 a.m.
@ Dennis - perhaps you hadn't noticed: SCOTUS just gutted that very same Voting Rights law.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 1:36 a.m.
I think all of them, and the cops as well. Get out now. Marshall law and chaps without a seat (had to make that pg) are coming soon!
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 11:13 p.m.
@Richard Carter- yes, and I'm sure a lot of money was saved by not letting African Americans vote in the south during the 30's, 40's and 50's. Yet we still passed the Voting Rights act in 64. If you want to be a bigot, dont hide behind fiscal issues.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 9:27 p.m.
Ya know, you could put the same argument that if we denied benefits to some race you didn't like we could hire more teachers.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 8:52 p.m.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 8:03 p.m.
Let's keep the momentum going and legalize gay marriage, which will make our state even better.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 7:47 p.m.
Remember Terminator 2? A country in complete destruction. Not too far off for us.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 3:02 a.m.
Why was my comment removed? Back to the point, Employee Domestic Partner Health benefits does NOT equal "complete destruction". Get a clue!
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 9:23 p.m.
Yes, people said that when Obama was elected and re-elected, and it didn't happen then, either. And it won't happen.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 9:17 p.m.
How will this cause a robot revolt?
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 9:10 p.m.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 7:41 p.m.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 7:34 p.m.
What a week for Michiganders! Thanks to the ACLU and Judge Lawson. Its nice to see that some good things are still possible in our state. Now....how about the legislature passing the Medicaid Expansion program to provide health insurance to hundreds of thousands of our neighbors in need!
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 2:40 a.m.
Yes, this is indeed good news not only for LGBT couples but hetrosexual couples who are unmarried but in a committed relationship as well. Discrimination to both of these communities about a necessary resource of Health Insurance, was wrong. Governor Rick Snyder should be voted out of office in 2014 for signing this law, among other things like Right to Work for Less, Increasing Taxes on the Middle Class, Gutting Programs for the Working Poor and more....
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 6:41 p.m.
Wooohooooo!!!! Congratulations, Peter and Joe and Aliza!!!!! What a great day :)
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 6:28 p.m.
Congratulations to Peter and Joe. I salute their courage and will to do what was right. The people of Michigan will remove all official discrimination against same-sex relationships sooner than later, one hopes well before 2016. It is not only what is right to do, it is what the majority of us want to do.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 6:08 p.m.
Forward Progress! I'm proud of Michigan today!
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 6:07 p.m.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 6:03 p.m.
Well done! It's a huge step toward equality.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 5:57 p.m.
So much for the Constitution, Federalism, and States Rights. I am not against gay marriage but I do wish the legislative (representative government) and not the judicial system was used.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 3:44 a.m.
Peace and love to you too Northside.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 2:45 a.m.
What? I'm confused. If people are willing to PAY an employee premium for health insurance, our governor should be able to deny them if he feels like it -- or specifically if they are LBGT or Hetrosexual Couple who are unmarried. Really? Where is this in line with "We the People" phase in the Constitution or "Equal Rights Under the Law?" The court did the RIGHT actions in this case and frankly your comment shows ignorance of what the Constitution truly stands for.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 11:11 p.m.
You seam to be mistaken about the Constitution and what it says. Read the ruling, the law was found to violate the constitution, states rights are those powers which are not outlined in the Constitution. If something violates the constitution, by definition it is not a states rights issue.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 10 p.m.
Always cracks me up that conservatives who claim to care the most about the Constitution often don't have the slightest understanding of it.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 7:43 p.m.
Actually this is a good example of the government working . . . you know checks and balances.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 6:09 p.m.
Not sure what you mean by "so much for the Constitution." Constitutional rights trump state's rights. This was ruled unconstitutional.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 5:43 p.m.
This is fantastic news! Lisa Dengiz
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 5:36 p.m.
Here is the actual ruling and opinion... http://www.aclu.org/files/assets/bassett_pi_decision.pdf
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 5:37 p.m.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 5:19 p.m.
My tax dollars spent in a way that I don't like.
Mon, Jul 1, 2013 : 2:57 p.m.
Oh no! Whatever will you do?!
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 2:50 a.m.
What? The employees paid a PREMIUM for employee health insurance. If your "tax dollars are spent in a way you don't like" maybe you need to withhold your state taxes from Lansing, as State Legislators receive free health care and a pension retirement plan overthere (with the exception of the NEWEST Legislators starting on January 1, 2015). And what about all the free taxpayer provided perks Governor Rick Snyder himself receives. Also, don't give me the crapola about the $1.00 salary, as Snyder still will receive a pension, does have access to a per diem expense account, state police protection and a host of other amenities for being governor. Do you like that?
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 1:35 a.m.
Oh my goodness! A whole lot of my tax dollars are being spent on things that I dislike ....but that is the way it is. And I can guarantee you that there are not very many tax dollars spent on same-sex partner health insurance or heterosexual domestic partner benefits....there just aren't that many. The law that Snyder signed in Dec 2011 was punitive, ugly and hurtful. I thought he was better than that, but no longer harbor those illusions. I hope he can redeem himself on some of these issues.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 12:30 a.m.
Mr. Ed is entitled to his opinion.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 8:56 p.m.
Mr. Ed. I don't know if you will be judged or not, but the law was and it didn't go well for Governor Snyder or the Michigan Republicans.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 7:25 p.m.
Mr. Ed, if your religious beliefs preclude you from participating in gay marriage or benefits for domestic partners, you are free in this country to not get gay married or not have a domestic partner that will receive benefits. As such, any judgement based on the tenants of your faith will not be against you. Those who have different faith beliefs/practices than yourself will be responsible for their own actions. Personally, I think that if there is a God, she would be more than happy with every person being treated equally in the eyes of the law in terms of benefits, access to civil services, etc.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 6:17 p.m.
We as a society are sinking further and further. I dont support this and believe we will be judged.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 5:34 p.m.
Translation: "I hate it when the government doesn't save money with hate."
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 5:27 p.m.
Fair enough. I don't like that I pay the NSA to spy on me either. Nor do I like that I pay for us to ship fully automatic weapons to whoever wants them in third world countries, but I can't buy one.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 5:23 p.m.
Yeah Ed...people different from you dont deserve benefits right? Get real...
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 5:23 p.m.
Sorry Mr. Ed but all U.S. taxpayers pay for some programs (and things) that we don't like!
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 5:22 p.m.
poor guy -- welcome to the world
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 5:19 p.m.
This is good news, but the headline here is incorrect. Judge Lawson's decision today allows the case to proceed and has granted a preliminary injunction to block the law from taking effect for now. He wouldn't have done this if he didn't think there was a strong likelihood the plaintiffs would win on the merits in the end. So this is both short-term good news for gay rights advocates, and also a hopeful sign for the future. But the judge has not issued a final decision in the case, and the law is not yet "struck down."
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 6:21 p.m.
We've been updating the story as more information has become available. The headline also has been changed for accuracy. Thanks!
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 5:05 p.m.
Did the judge strike down the entire law or just the part pertaining to same sex partnerships where they are banned from marriage? The ban also applied to heterosexual couples living together without benefit of marriage. Those couples can get married if they so choose. Thus, it would seem that the judges reasoning would only apply to same sex couples.
Sun, Jun 30, 2013 : 12:48 a.m.
@Ypsi- The judge's legal argument was that the law discriminated against gay couples because they could not be legally married. Since heterosexual couples can get married, the same argument does not apply to those couples. I am not making an argument about whether or not the law should or should not ban domestic partner benefits, only that the judge's argument only applies to same sex couples because they are not allowed to be married in Michigan.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 2:57 a.m.
The State Employee Domestic Partner Benefit applied to BOTH LGBT and Hetrosexual couples, as it SHOULD. Hetrosexual couples in a committed relationship should NOT be forced to "get married" for health benefits if the job offers Domestic Partner Insurance. Think, before you type.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 4:59 p.m.
The next legal battle is likely in the sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 2:58 a.m.
The same ruling should apply as in the DOMA decision. "Equal Protection Under the Law". So we should expect victory for the plaintiffs case there, as well.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 4:56 p.m.
Joy! This has been a wonderful week! Now strike down Michigan's ban on marriage and second parent adoption, please.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 4:54 p.m.
Thank you Judge Lawson for upholding the protections of the U.S. Constitution, and for following the clear precedent set by Justice Kennedy's ruling in the DOMA case.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 4:53 p.m.
AnnArbor.com, how about posting a link to the judge's ruling?
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 5:54 p.m.
David- Another commenter was kind enough to post it, but for your convenience, here it is again: http://www.aclu.org/files/assets/bassett_pi_decision.pdf You can thank @Jaime Magiera!
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 4:53 p.m.
Fantastic! It doesn't solve all of the problems, but it's a darn good start.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 4:47 p.m.