MI Republicans Work To Increase Un-Employment Rate With Anti-Gay Bill

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.

But the Michigan Republicans have it wrong. Same-sex marriage is actually more like a beer or a napkin or even a padlock. Everybody knows that (duh).

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.

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  • Elloreigh

    Just the latest round in the ongoing battle over benefits/Michigan’s marriage amendment. It was already ruled by Michigan’s Supreme Court some time ago that public University’s can’t offer benefits based on domestic partnerships because of our state’s constitutional amendment:

    “To secure and preserve the benefits of marriage for our society and for future generations of children, the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose.”

    My partner and I had a certified domestic partnership at the county level, and it would have provided either of us the opportunity to cover the other on our insurance if one of us were to become unemployed. It was voided by the aforementioned amendment.

    So the universities instead started letting people cover an “other qualified adult” on their insurance. They also added quite a bit to the eligibility requirements.

    If this latest law goes through – and it almost certainly will, given that Republicans hold the Michigan House, Senate, Governorship and are the majority on the state’s Supreme Court (non-partisan my ass!) – the universities will probably have to cease the “other qualified adult” offering as well.

    Michigan has one of the worst of the marriage amendments, and there is no hope of it being overturned any time soon.

  • That doesn't follow

    Nothing in your article in any way supports your claim that blocking these benefits will increase unemployment. There are other reasons to oppose it, but the one you picked for the headline is not supported in your article and makes no sense. (The positions will be filled, just perhaps by non-gays. Hence unemployment is unaffected.)

  • Paco

    It is sad that my home state continuously shuns me away when I love it so. It saddens me to think that someday I will have to leave because my future family will never truly be accepted by my state government.

  • Mike

    “Why I left Michigan, Alex, for $1000”

  • Mick in Detroit

    @ #4 Mike… not to be dick, but where did you go? Cananda? I mean it’s great we can move to Massachusetts or NY for a “marriage” that is useless once you leave the individual state…or file federal returns…or want any recognition for virtually any federal purpose. Sitting toward the front of the second class car is still sitting in second class.

    Why I stayed in Michigan and am continuing to try to make it a better place for the next generation instead of quitting and heading to any generic gay mecca where I can just be one of the crowd for $2000 Alex.

  • Jaroslaw

    In the 25 years I’ve been a state employee, NEVER has the legislature tried to interfere with ANY decision the Civil Service Commission has made. I’m not a legal authority but there may be a question on whether or not they even have legal authority to do so.

    At least every time a decision went against the union in a grievance or arbitration, it was always explained that Michigan’s Civil Service Commission was one of few or only states that derived its authority from the Constitution. Wonder why that isn’t valid now? Silly me, it’s about Gays, which trumps all other concerns. Ask Sally Kern from Oklahoma.

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