Same-Sex Partners Can Keep Health Insurance

November 12, 2014

In 2011, the Michigan legislature passed, and Gov. Snyder signed, a mean-spirited bill that made it illegal for most public employers to voluntarily provide health insurance coverage to same-sex domestic partners of employees. The ACLU challenged the law in federal court on behalf of several couples, arguing that it denied them equal treatment under the law.

In June 2013, Judge David Lawson granted a preliminary injunction stopping the law from going into effect. In his 51-page opinion, Judge Lawson concluded that the legislature, in passage the law, was motivated primarily by discriminatory animus against gays and lesbians.

In November 2014 Judge Lawson issued a final judgment striking down the law, declaring that it unconstitutionally discriminates against same-sex couples in violation of their rights to equal protection under the law. The state of Michigan has decided not to appeal.

(Bassett v. Snyder; ACLU of Michigan Attorneys Jay Kaplan and Michael J. Steinberg; National ACLU Attorneys John Knight and Amanda Goad; Cooperating Attorney Amy Crawford of Kirkland & Ellis.)

View the full 2014-2015 Legal Docket.

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