Press Release Summary = Michigan Equality comments on Michigan Court of Appeals Ruling on Domestic Partner Benefits
Press Release Body = Michigan Equality is sickened by the ruling of the Michigan Appellate Court denying domestic partnership benefits to state employees, citing the passage of 2004's Proposal 2 as their reason. "The marriage amendment\'s plain language prohibits public employers from recognizing same-sex unions for any purpose," wrote the Court of Appeals referring to the wording of the amendment banning gay marriage "or similar union for any purpose."
Although the vast majority of Michigan residents view equality in the workplace and in basic health and welfare benefits as a right for all Michigan residents, these benefits were still denied earlier today. Consequently we feel that there must be vast differences between the Court of Appeals and reality in general. "It's very telling that the court makes no reference to the families affected by this ruling," stated Derek Smiertka, Executive Director for Michigan Equality. The Court took ten months to make a decision and then spitefully mandated that their decision take immediate effect. "It's unfortunate that the judges highlighted the basic lie told to Michigan voters in 2004, that some citizens should not have the basic rights of others."
"It is a sad day in Michigan jurisprudence when a court upholds discrimination, especially when supporters of 2004\'s Proposal 2 told voters that this would not affect domestic partner benefits. The Court is, in essence, upholding a deceit," stated Doug Meeks, President of Michigan Equality.
The ruling came just days after a study was released by the Fair Housing Centers of Michigan on LGBT discrimination in housing showing a vast disparity between LGBT and non-LGBT applicants. The ruling also followed the introduction of legislation to include sexual orientation in Michigan's Civil Rights Act.
Michigan Equality will continue to fight to keep domestic partner benefits in Michigan and will continue to work with and support the ACLU and other organizations in the appeal of this ruling.
Michigan Equality is a statewide organization dedicated to building and using political power to promote equality and eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.