ACLU Saddened By Passage of Discriminatory Amendment

November 03, 2004
November 3, 2004 - Press Release

DETROIT -- In a blow to civil rights and all people of Proposal 2, a discriminatory unconstitutional amendment passed last night.

"Supporters of the Proposal 2 have said all along that the amendment does not impact domestic partnership benefits,” said Kary Moss, ACLU of Michigan Executive Director. “The ACLU of Michigan will take them at their word, but we won’t hesitate to sue if the government interprets the proposal to prohibit employers from providing those benefits.”

Thomas More Law Center filed a lawsuit more than a year ago against the Ann Arbor School District in an attempt to prevent the district from providing domestic partnership benefits, including health care. The case was dismissed in the trial court and is now on appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Marlene Elwell, campaign director for the Citizens for the Protection of Marriage which supported the amendment said throughout the campaign, "This has nothing to do with taking benefits away. This is about marriage between a man and a woman."

Gary Glenn, president of the American Family association of also said the language would have no effect on private employers, including those that the government contracts. He said voter approval of Proposal 2 would not affect public employee benefits included in existing collective bargaining agreements. (Crains Detroit Business, 10/4/04)

"It is unfortunate that the sponsors of this amendment waged such a divisive and expensive campaign when same-sex marriage was illegal before the election and remains illegal. This amendment has not changed current law, but it will harm reputation as a tolerant state,” added Moss.