ACLU Blasts Governor Snyder for Signing Domestic Partner Benefits Ban, Vows Legal Challenge

December 22, 2011

DETROIT—The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan today expressed deep concern over Governor Rick Snyder’s decision to sign a bill into law that would bar public employers from providing domestic partner protections to their employees. The ACLU has vowed to challenge the constitutionality of the law on behalf of families who will lose their health protections.

House Bill 4770 passed the state House in September and the Senate earlier this month. It would prohibit any government entity from providing healthcare protections to domestic partners. Governor Snyder signed the bill earlier today and vetoed a separate bill, HB 4771, that would make domestic partner protections a forbidden subject in collective bargaining agreements.

Both bills were introduced after the legislature failed to override a Michigan Civil Service Commission decision to ratify a collective bargaining agreement that allowed certain state employees to share health care benefits with one "other eligible adult."

The following can be attributed to Kary L. Moss, ACLU of Michigan executive director:

“The decision to take healthcare benefits away from families just in time for the holidays is mean-spirited and cruel. Governor Snyder had an opportunity to show real leadership and put an end to the political games; instead he approved an extreme policy that sets our state back, jeopardizes our economy and puts our families at risk. The bill serves no other purpose than to single out a small minority of people and deprive them of critical protections as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. We are prepared to challenge this law on behalf of Michigan families in the coming weeks.”

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