Michigan’s Ban on Domestic Partner Benefits Blocked

Posted:

Michigan’s ban on domestic partner benefits for employees that work for the public school system or local government has been blocked by a federal judge. The ruling came as a partial victory for the plaintiffs of the case. Their due process claims were dismissed for insufficient evidence; however, their equal protection claim was able to proceed.
In 2001, the Michigan Legislature, controlled by Republicans, passed a law that ended insurance benefits for domestic partners that worked for certain employers of the public system. In addition, Michigan’s Constitution has banned same-sex marriages for couples since 2004. Although some public employers had began to extend benefits to domestic partners, which arguably was the force behind the law to begin with.
Judge David Lawson, US District Court Eastern District of Michigan, compared the law to the recently nullified Defense of Marriage Act. He cited the US Supreme Court ruling in the United States v. Windsor on five different instances, and mentioned the quickly changing cultural views on gay relationships. He stated that the Constitution provides the right to equality, which means that the congressional wish to thwart equality for these politically unpopular individuals cannot be justified.
Lawson concluded that the law is discriminatory towards the gay community and issued an injunction to bar Michigan from enforcing it. Furthermore, Michigan’s nine-year ban on same-sex marriage equality has also been placed under review before the Michigan federal court. At this point, the decision is still unknown, but a ruling will be provided in the near future.
This decision in Michigan came on the same day as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ordered to lift the ban on same-sex marriage in the state of California. With approval passed by Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris, same-sex marriage ceremonies have already began across the state. Hundreds of couples have lined up at City Hall to exchange nuptials and receive marriage licenses.
Both of these court decisions follow the landmark ruling by the Supreme Court, which held that same-sex couples are entitled to federal benefits just as heterosexual couples are. All of these recent developments are leading to boosts for gay equality rights nationwide.

Michigan’s ban on domestic partner benefits for employees that work for the public school system or local government has been blocked by a federal judge. The ruling came as a partial victory for the plaintiffs of the case. Their due process claims were dismissed for insufficient evidence; however, their equal protection claim was able to proceed.

In 2001, the Michigan Legislature, controlled by Republicans, passed a law that ended insurance benefits for domestic partners that worked for certain employers of the public system. In addition, Michigan’s Constitution has banned same-sex marriages for couples since 2004. Although some public employers had began to extend benefits to domestic partners, which arguably was the force behind the law to begin with.

Judge David Lawson, US District Court Eastern District of Michigan, compared the law to the recently nullified Defense of Marriage Act. He cited the US Supreme Court ruling in the United States v. Windsor on five different instances, and mentioned the quickly changing cultural views on gay relationships. He stated that the Constitution provides the right to equality, which means that the congressional wish to thwart equality for these politically unpopular individuals cannot be justified.

Lawson concluded that the law is discriminatory towards the gay community and issued an injunction to bar Michigan from enforcing it. Furthermore, Michigan’s nine-year ban on same-sex marriage equality has also been placed under review before the Michigan federal court. At this point, the decision is still unknown, but a ruling will be provided in the near future.

This decision in Michigan came on the same day as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ordered to lift the ban on same-sex marriage in the state of California. With approval passed by Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris, same-sex marriage ceremonies have already began across the state. Hundreds of couples have lined up at City Hall to exchange nuptials and receive marriage licenses.

Both of these court decisions follow the landmark ruling by the Supreme Court, which held that same-sex couples are entitled to federal benefits just as heterosexual couples are. All of these recent developments are leading to boosts for gay equality rights nationwide.

 

Bookmark This Article:
| del.icio.us: Delicious | Digg: Digg | Technorati: Technorati | Newsvine: Seed this article | Reddit: Add to Reddit | Furl: Add to furl | |
| Stumble Upon: Stumble This Article | Yahoo!: YahooMyWeb | Google: Google |

 

Legal•Info: Related Articles


Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Call to undefined function similar_posts() in /home/legalinfo/public_html/legal-news/wp-content/themes/default/single.php:125 Stack trace: #0 /home/legalinfo/public_html/legal-news/wp-includes/template-loader.php(78): include() #1 /home/legalinfo/public_html/legal-news/wp-blog-header.php(19): require_once('/home/legalinfo...') #2 /home/legalinfo/public_html/legal-news/index.php(17): require('/home/legalinfo...') #3 {main} thrown in /home/legalinfo/public_html/legal-news/wp-content/themes/default/single.php on line 125