Appeals Court Puts Domestic Partnership Benefits Case on Hold and Fast Track

October 31, 2005

October 31, 2005 - Press Release

While a court order issued today by the Michigan Court of Appeals puts the ruling on hold that allows public employers to offer domestic partnership benefits without violating the “marriage amendment,” it also allows public entities to continue offering current benefit and negotiate future contracts. The court also ordered the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan case to be put on a fast track.

“What this means is that Governor Granholm and the City of Kalamazoo can move forward in offering health insurance coverage and other benefits to state employees, their domestic partners and children as the case is being appealed,” said Kary Moss, ACLU of Michigan Executive Director. 
 
A three judge panel of the Court of Appeals ordered a stay of Ingham County Court Judge Joyce Dragonchuk’s September 26 ruling, but the order is not a judgment of the merits of the case or a legal decision on its unconstitutionality.

Legal briefings are due by the first week of December.  A decision of the appeal could be issued by the end of the year.

“We look forward to Judge Draganchuk’s ruling being affirmed,” added Moss.

To read Judge Draganchuk’s decision, go to:  www.aclumich.org/pdf/briefs/dplawsuitdecision.pdf