The Michigan General Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that the state’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages also blocks Michigan governments and state universities from offering “domestic partnership” benefits for homosexual couples.
The Marriage Protection Amendment was approved by nearly sixty percent of voters in 2004. Considered the broadest of the 11 state marriage amendments barring same-sex marriage, the language of the Michigan amendment says “…the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose.”
The Michigan ACLU, representing the AFL-CIO homosexual activist group National Pride at Work, had challenged the application of the law as based in Attorney General Mike Cox’s interpretation of the amendment.
The Michigan court’s 5-2 decision did not rule on whether government employment benefits can be offered to homosexual partners on some broader basis also available to other employees. Some local governments and universities have attempted to maintain present benefits by amending the eligibility requirements.
“The people of Michigan have constitutionally protected marriage as exclusively the union of one man and one woman, period, and that includes prohibiting the recognition of homosexual relationships as equal or similar to marriage for any purpose, including offering spousal-type benefits to the homosexual partners of government employees,” Gary Glenn, one of the co-authors of the Marriage Protection Amendment and head of the American Family Association of Michigan.
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, praised the decision, saying, “The Michigan Supreme Court courageously upheld the will of the people.”