Earlier this year the Michigan Civil Service Commission voted to extend health benefits to the unmarried partners of public employees whether they be same-sex or different-sex. And now a few weeks before the program was to begin, the Republican-led Michigan House voted mostly along party lines to stop it from happening. Now the bill goes onto the Republican-led Senate where it will most likely pass. With the current Michigan unemployment rate at 10.9 percent, this bill will only worsen things.
By denying unmarried LGB and straight partners access to health care, the state basically ensures these excluded citizens will avoid getting preventative medical care and will most likely suffer tremendous financial loss if they do get ill or injured. Furthermore, the bill will discourage prospective public employees from ever applying, knowing that another private employer might give them and their partners better benefits.
Of course, the Republicans have justified the move by saying that extending work benefits to the same-sex partners of unmarried employees is the exact same thing as same-sex marriage, something state voters banned in 2004.
Democrats say that the law is unconstitutional and will get knocked down by courts. We say it will still pass and cause an administrative nightmare that hurts gays and straights alike.