Court of Appeals To Hear Oral Argument in Lawsuit

April 10, 2006

On Tuesday, April 11, 2006 at 9:30 a.m. a panel of three judges from the Michigan Court of Appeals will hear oral argument in Na’l. Pride at Work v Granholm. 

When:  April 11, 9:30am.

Where: Michigan Hall of Justice, 925 W. Ottawa, Lansing.

In April 2005, the ACLU of Michigan filed a lawsuit on behalf of 21 families in Ingham County Circuit Court seeking a declaratory ruling that Proposal 2, which amended the Michigan Constitution in November 2004 to prohibit gay marriage, allows public employers to offer health care insurance, otherwise called domestic partnership benefits, to lesbian and gay families.

On September 26, 2005, Judge Joyce Draganchuk issued a ruling that public employers may offer these benefits without violating the “marriage amendment.” Attorney General Mike Cox, who intervened as a defendant, appealed.  In October, a three judge panel of the Court of Appeals stayed the trial court decision but did not rule on the merits.

“The hearing today will allow parties for both sides to present their argument on appeal,” said Kary L. Moss, Executive Director of the ACLU of Michigan.  “Public employers should be allowed to offer benefit packages that will attract the best and brightest to Michigan: Nothing in the constitutional amendment bans health care insurance. The trial court decision should be upheld.”

The ACLU filed suit after Attorney General Mike Cox issued a non-binding opinion stating that Proposal 2 barred the State of Michigan from providing health benefits to the families of their lesbian and gay employees.

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