This news occurred a month and a half ago, but I somehow missed it. The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled that public universities and other government agencies are not permitted to extend benefits to unmarried partners (regardless of sexuality). The court noted that domestic partnership is the same as marriage, and marriage for gay folks isn’t allowed, so domestic partnership cannot be allowed so that only married heterosexuals can get the associated benefits. In a state suffering so severely from economic decline and a big case of brain-drain, this seems an especially foolish move. Of course, it is clearly bigoted and heterosexist. No one is sure what this will do to agencies that already offer these benefits to lure and keep top employees. Comments on message boards across the net noted that Florida is (or was?) proposing a “Constitutional Amendment #2” that would do the same thing. If anyone of you have links for news on that please pass them along to me as a comment or email/voicemail (click “Communicate” above).
Those who are making a fuss: keep it up! Raise your voices and write your letters. I’m so embarrassed for my primary home state. Really, MI, we’re struggling enough right now. Let’s value our residents a bit more than this, shall we? Makes me glad that my partner and I had our union (and spent all that union ceremony money) over in Vermont!
The Chronicle of Higher Education’s article with comments – here
Detroit Free Press (Freep) article – here