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Michigan LGBT Couples Receive More Good News

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by Logan Keziah

Michigan LGBT couples receive more good news. U.S. District Court Judge David S. Lawson, ruled that a law banning school districts and local governments from offering health benefits to domestic partners of public employees was unconstitutional. The law, signed by Governor Snyder in 2011, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.

Although the state of Michigan had enacted an amendment in 2004 banning gay marriage, recent developments with the Supreme Court striking down DOMA, coupled with other litigation efforts, and the swaying of public opinion towards supporting marriage equality, may exert the right amount of public pressure to get a measure on the ballot to repeal the 2004 amendment in 2016. The image below, created and circulated by Equality Michigan, illustrates the shifting public opinion of Michigan residents in support of marriage equality. The shifting of the public opinion in Michigan, reflects the national shift of opinion in support of marriage equality.

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The striking down of the domestic partner benefits ban is just one example of how the Supreme Court’s decisions last week may affect the litigation efforts of LGBT couples across the country. It will be interesting to see how federal judges continue to rule on cases questioning the constitutionality of gay marriage bans.

According to the Huffington Post:

Devin Schindler, a constitutional law expert at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Grand Rapids, said the judge still could make a ruling without a trial, after lawyers further develop the case through depositions, if necessary, in the weeks ahead.

The Michigan attorney general’s office said it was disappointed that Friedman didn’t dismiss the lawsuit but added: “We look forward to aggressively defending Michigan’s constitution.” Read Full Article

Logan Keziah is a News Correspondent for Social Work Helper. She is a BSW student at East Carolina University in Greenville who plans to go on to graduate school for a Masters in Social Work. She is actively involved in North Carolina politics, and is interested in policy, advocacy, social justice, and women's issues.

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