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Michigan Lawmakers Want to Stop Employers From Giving Partner Benefits

Michigan Lawmakers Want to Stop Employers From Giving Partner Benefits

Michiganhouseofrepresentatives
lucasgrindley

Michigan could soon become one of the least welcoming states for same-sex couples if a pair of bills, which were approved by a House committee Tuesday, make their way into state law books.


Republicans on the Oversight, Reform and Ethics Committee voted to bar employers from offering benefits to anyone not married or related to an employee. Although the rules don't say "gay" anywhere in them, it's clear who they target, according to Equality Michigan.

"While these benefits are often used by both straight and gay couples, anti-gay lawmakers are specifically trying to deny gay couples the ability to care for their families," Emily Dievendorf, director of policy for the group, said in a statement.

Republicans also voted to make it illegal for any union to negotiate on benefits for unmarried couples. The committee's four Republicans easily outvoted the two Democrats -- representatives Timothy Bledsoe and Lisa Brown.

Michigan already banned gay marriage in its constitution, defining marriage as "the union of one man and one woman." The state's law claims "a special interest in encouraging, supporting, and protecting that unique relationship in order to promote, among other goals, the stability and welfare of society and its children."

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Lucas Grindley

Lucas Grindley is VP and Editorial Director for Here Media, which is parent company to The Advocate. His Twitter account is filled with politics, Philip Glass appreciation, and adorable photos of his twin toddler daughters.
Lucas Grindley is VP and Editorial Director for Here Media, which is parent company to The Advocate. His Twitter account is filled with politics, Philip Glass appreciation, and adorable photos of his twin toddler daughters.