Judge rules gay couples can receive health insurance
The decision was announced late this afternoon. Here's the Detroit Free Press article:
LANSING - An Ingham County judge ruled Tuesday that Michigan's ban against gay marriage does not prevent public employers from providing health insurance to partners of gay employees.
Ingham County Circuit Judge Joyce Draganchuk said health care benefits are benefits of employment, not marriage.
"Today's ruling affirms what we've believed all along - Michigan voters never intended to take health insurance away from families," said Deborah LaBelle, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.
From the ACLU of Michigan's press release this afternoon:
In the opinion, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce Dragonchuk makes it clear that the constitutional amendment does not impact domestic partner benefits. “Health care benefits are not among the statutory rights or benefits of marriage. An individual does not receive health care benefits for his or her spouse as a matter of legal right upon getting married. Judge Dragonchuk goes on to write, “Health care benefits for a spouse are benefits of employment, not benefits of marriage.”
“We’re hopeful that Governor Granholm will reinstate domestic partner benefits as part of the negotiated contract between the state and its employees as she has previously indicated she would,” said Jay Kaplan, Staff Attorney for the LGBT Project of the ACLU.
How this could be decided any other way is beyond my imagination. But I also could not imagine why anyone would vote for Proposal 2 last November. However, I am relieved for this little victory...
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