Judge Strikes Down Michigan Ban On Partner Benefits

Jun 28, 2013

A federal judge has struck down a state law that prohibits public employers from offering health coverage and other benefits to the live-in partners of gay and lesbian employees.

The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta reports.

The state law was aimed at least 10 Michigan school districts, municipalities, counties, and community colleges that made provisions to ensure the benefits of employees in same-sex relationships covered their partners and any children they might be raising together. That would be in spite of the ban on same-sex marriages and civil unions in the Michigan Constitution.

U-S District Court Judge David Lawson says the law serves no compelling public interest, but it does deny equal protection to people in same-sex relationships. He ordered the state to stop enforcing the ban. There is also another ruling expected soon from a federal judge that could affect adoption rights for same-sex couples in Michigan, as well as the ban on gay marriage.