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Gays wouldn't lose domestic partner benefits if marriage law passes, American Family Association of Michigan president says

Here's a response from Gary Glenn, president of American Family Association of Michigan, to an earlier posting today about the gay marriage debate in Florida:
"Floridians opposed to the constitutional amendment...say that the proposed amendment won’t only ban gay marriage... They point to a decision earlier this year by a Michigan appeals court that said Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage, adopted in the November 2004 election, may bar cities from offering health care for same-sex partners of public employees."
Your characterization of the Michigan court decision is simply inaccurate.  Both sides of the issue now agree that the court did not rule that public employees are prohibited "from offering health care for same-sex partners of public employees."
See e-mail sent earlier to the St. Pete Times for details.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2007 2:08 PM
Subject: St. Pete Times report on Michigan marriage amendment false
I'm not suggesting that you knowingly reported something that's not true, but the second clause of the following sentence in your story today is false:
"Michigan, for instance, passed an anti-gay marriage amendment in 2004, and earlier this year a Michigan court ruled that it also bars public employers from offering health coverage and other benefits to any unmarried couples."
Our Court of Appeals ruled no such thing.  What the court did rule is that public employers cannot offer benefits to anyone on the basis of recognizing homosexual or other nonmarital relationships as being equal or similar to marriage.
In response to the court ruling, every public employer that previously offered so-called "domestic partner" benefits has either maintained or even expanded their benefit offerings by merely changing the eligibility criteria.
I was one of two co-authors of the Michigan amendment.  I don't expect you to believe me, so I offer the following:

* A homosexual activist newsmagazine in Detroit reported that ACLU-Michigan chief counsel Jay Kaplan, who filed a lawsuit challenging the amendment, "says that even under the Appeals Court ruling, benefits can be offered, but have to be done in a way which does not recognize same-sex partners or relationships."

Or as Lansing City Pulse reported: "'The Michigan Court of Appeals decision never said that public employers could not provide health care coverage to domestic partners of employees,' Kaplan wrote in an e-mail. He said that employers can provide health insurance coverage for domestic partners as long as they do not specifically recognize the domestic partner relationship — by filing domestic partner benefit forms, for example — when determining criteria for insurance eligibility." http://www.lansingcitypulse.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1133&Itemid=2

* Kalamazoo Alliance for Equality, a homosexual activist group: "The Michigan Court of Appeals did not say that health insurance coverage for domestic partners is illegal. The court said that public employers cannot use criteria that recognizes the domestic partner relationship." http://www.tri.org/docs/Kzoodprallies.doc

* The Kalamazoo Gazette reported: "The city of Kalamazoo may begin offering health-care benefits to unmarried partners of its heterosexual employees as a way to preserve coverage for partners in gay and lesbian relationships. ...Kalamazoo's proposal is patterned after a Michigan State University same-sex-benefits compromise. MSU decided to open dependent benefits to certain unmarried partners, regardless of their sexual orientation. MSU's compromise came after a Michigan Court of Appeals ruled it is unconstitutional for public entities to offer dependent benefits to partners in committed homosexual relationships. The court said the practice violated the Michigan Constitution's definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman ...City Manager Kenneth Collard on Monday said commissioners could enact the expanded unmarried-partners benefit plan in time to continue coverage for four current city employees who are scheduled to lose coverage for their homosexual partners on July 1."


The Ann Arbor News reported: "The University of Michigan is rolling out what it considers to be legal criteria to keep providing health care benefits to the gay partners of its employees. U-M is allowing each employee to select an 'other qualified adult'' for health care benefits based upon seven criteria that include a shared residence and financial history. The benefits would begin Jan. 1, the date public employers must stop providing benefits on the basis of a same-sex relationship because of the voter-approved Michigan Marriage Amendment." http://www.mlive.com/news/annarbornews/index.ssf?/base/news-23/1182264074252460.xml&coll=2 

By their own words and actions, opponents of our Marriage Protection Amendment last month finally admitted that what supporters have said all along is true: government recognition as the basis for benefits was the issue before the courts, not benefits themselves.

(This belatedly sheepish admission is a dramatic reversal in their propaganda claims.  Just as in Florida, homosexual activists and their allies up until last month had falsely claimed for the last three years that the amendment would "take away" benefits; now they admit that their own claim was false.)

Thus, any attempt by marriage amendment opponents or news media in Florida to point to Michigan as alleged evidence that such amendments threaten healthcare benefits -- as you did in your article -- is and will be documentably false.
Hope you'll correct the record this time, and now that you have the facts, report what's factually true in future stories.
Thanks for your consideration.
Gary Glenn, President
American Family Association of Michigan


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