Another reason to support gay marriage...
Opponents of gay marriage claim they support civil unions...yet look at what has happened in Michigan.
A Michigan appeals court ruling that bans public universities and state and local governments from providing health insurance to partners of gay employees has alarmed gay rights advocates nationwide.Fortunately, we don't have to worry about this in Canada!
They fear the decision could encourage similar rulings in 17 other states whose bans on gay marriage could be interpreted to prohibit domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples.
Michigan last week became the first state to rule that public employers cannot offer health benefits if the benefits are based on treating same-sex relationships similar to marriage.
''It really is just a matter of time before we start seeing wholesale litigation in this area,'' said Carrie Evans, state legislative director for the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group in Washington.
In Alaska, the only other state to rule on the benefits given to same-sex partners of public employees, the courts ruled the other way, saying it was unconstitutional to deny them.
More than 20 other states have yet to decide how their gay marriage bans apply to same-sex partner benefits.
Dennis Patrick, a professor at Eastern Michigan University, worries that Michigan's ruling will strip his partner's health insurance.
The couple have adopted four foster children, one with a developmental disability, and Tom Patrick works part-time so he can care for them.
"If he has to go back to work full-time, that hurts our family. Or we have to pay for health benefits out of pocket, which hurts our family," Dennis Patrick said. "To me that either demonstrates a lack of understanding of how this can affect our family or other families, or it's just mean and cruel."