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Michigan governor signs bill to ban healthcare coverage for unmarried partners

Thursday, December 22, 2011

LANSING, Mich. — Following months of heated debate, Michigan Republican Governor Rick Snyder on Thursday signed House Bill 4770, eliminating health care coverage for domestic partners of public employees, and prohibiting any government entity in the state from providing such coverage.

Rick Snyder

The bill has attracted sharp criticism from the media, university leaders, business leaders, and progressive organizations throughout the state.

HB 4771, which the Governor vetoed, would have prohibited unions from including similar coverage in collective bargaining agreements. Both bills passed the legislature on December 13 — lawsuits on behalf of affected families will likely be filed soon.

Anti-gay Republicans Representative Dave Agema (sponsor of the bills) and Attorney General Bill Schuette have been trying to strip away health care coverage for gay and lesbian families since February, said Emily Dievendorf, Director of Policy for Equality Michigan.

“Governor Snyder’s support for this bill is appalling. Today, the Governor told unmarried public employees that they can no longer care for their partners or children. He has put hardworking gay and lesbian couples and their children into harm’s way by eliminating important health care coverage. He has spent the last two years talking about creating a welcoming state with a attractive business climate, and this bill flies in the face of those goals,” Dievendorf said.

“All families in our state, including gay and lesbian families, should have fair access to health care coverage. Governor Snyder caved to the radical social agenda coming from the legislature. He has rejected our shared commitment to economic growth. In order to compete in today’s global business environment, we must build a culture that prioritizes fundamental fairness. This law will only serve to hurt Michigan.”

The bill affects many public entities that currently provide coverage for domestic partners of employees, including:

  • University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University and 11 of the 12 other public universities;
  • State of Michigan (33,000 eligible employees under contracts that went into effect in 2011);
  • At least eight cities, counties and school districts, including Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo.

“The decision to take healthcare benefits away from families just in time for the holidays is mean-spirited and cruel. Governor Snyder had an opportunity to show real leadership and put an end to the political games; instead he approved an extreme policy that sets our state back, jeopardizes our economy and puts our families at risk,” said Kary Moss, executive director of the Michigan ACLU.

“The bill serves no other purpose than to single out a small minority of people and deprive them of critical protections as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. We are prepared to challenge this law on behalf of Michigan families in the coming weeks,” Moss said.

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Filed under: Michigan

81 more reader comments:

  1. Fuck this guy!

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:34pm
  2. the lawyers are going to have a field day with this one.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:35pm
  3. Boooooo hissss!!

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:36pm
  4. Dick…

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:36pm
  5. another moron.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:36pm
  6. Severe dislike. Ashamed to say it’s my home State.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:36pm
  7. - facepalm -
    Someone get me out of this backwards hell.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:37pm
  8. Because Jesus wanted people to remain sick. This the season for Christain love.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:38pm
  9. This country needs to wake up. It is almost 2012 not 1220. Please stop with this discriminating.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:38pm
  10. shame,shame shame from ontario canada, this is so wrong

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:39pm
  11. Ugh. WTF? I’d like to see how he liked it if HIS healthcare suddenly got eliminated.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:39pm
  12. We need marriage equality now! Of course, no one wants every shady couple in the world claiming “domestic partner” benefits. That’s the problem with not allowing us to have REAL marriage: SOME straight people will come in and take ill-advantage of the situation! Solve the problem by either (1)abolishing ALL marriages or (2)allowing gays to marry. Those are the only two real solutions.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:39pm
  13. He’ll get his one day….

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:39pm
  14. Unbelievable!

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:42pm
  15. omg.All this can not be real.God for give them .

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:43pm
  16. wow just when i thought a person could not be more evil. how unhuman of him.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:43pm
  17. How twisted. How sad. He is rolling America back 50 years. So much hate and WHY?????

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:46pm
  18. “eliminating health care coverage for domestic partners” AND “prohibiting any gov’t entity in the state from providing such coverage” – how can they even DO that? first of all, they say “domestic partnerships” are “equal” to marriage, only marriage is just for straight folks, then they get rid of the possibility of any company providing similar benefits just because they believe in it? SHAME!!

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:47pm
  19. I wonder if he knows just how many people are disgusted by him?

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:48pm
  20. Unless the Federal Goverment steps up and say enough is enough, this crap will continue for ever. If not guys remember the Civil Rights. It is not a matter of what some people think or belive. It is a matter of what is right.
    Like Scott said it is 2012.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:50pm
  21. Fine, then let me get married!

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:51pm
  22. Fuck face.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:53pm
  23. Are you kidding me? I live amongst mentally challenged apes. This is absurd. We have a bunch of crotchety, grumpy morons making rules for us.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:55pm
  24. Total bullshit. This affects straight couples cohabiting as well. I guess he doesn’t care who else is hurt, as long as he can screw over us queer folk.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:56pm
  25. 100% against this because this is a trick to excluded LGBT from healthcare because not all state see same-sex marriage legal

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:57pm
  26. disgusting!

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:58pm
  27. Neat!

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 8:59pm
  28. another mind boggling act from a politician……

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 9:00pm
  29. ⇩ MSG2 OUR GOV.⇩
    STAY THE FUCK OUT MY BEDROOM!!

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 9:00pm
  30. This is not acceptable. This must be fought.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 9:02pm
  31. Evil

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 9:07pm
  32. You’re a mean one, Mr. Snyder

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 9:10pm
  33. Just like a good christian – bastard!

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 9:14pm
  34. Cue Lilly Allen song

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 9:14pm
  35. Take it to court. If we beat “unmarried cohabitation” in Arkansas you can beat it too!

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 9:14pm
  36. I hope Gov Snyder gets gang raped by organ grinders.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 9:15pm
  37. Michigan SUCKS I left 24 yrs ago and i am only here now cause my mom and dad still live here and its Christmas

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 9:15pm
  38. REPUBLICANS
    TEXAS’S &
    MICHIGAN.
    Both Prickly Rick’$.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 9:17pm
  39. a-hole >:-(

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 9:24pm
  40. BOO ON YOU!

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 9:24pm
  41. this is clearly what a douchebag looks like.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 9:28pm
  42. WOW what a fag! Just sayin’

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 9:47pm
  43. &-{/}

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 9:48pm
  44. ok, man up, who pissed in his cheerios?

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 9:49pm
  45. Sucks

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 10:02pm
  46. Fuck you Snyder!

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 10:04pm
  47. Look at my palm… its in my face.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 10:11pm
  48. and a governor can sign illegal discriminating laws???

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 10:12pm
  49. i hope he feels the heat in the voting booth as some future date!

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 10:24pm
  50. And yet they have no problem taking our tax money.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 10:33pm
  51. What a Grinch who stole health!!!!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 10:36pm
  52. What a jerk!!!!!! Legalized discrimination!!!!! Thanks to all of you who voted for this idiot!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 11:12pm
  53. If the gays, lesbians and trans community don’t get the same rights that he straight abuse, then they shouldn’t have to pay taxes.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 11:25pm
  54. Let the brain-drain from Michigan begin. Plenty of other states recognize the good business sense in allowing domestic partner benefits in government and educational entities. No doubt LGBT people will be moving to those states, leaving Michigan a much poorer state for its loss.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 11:33pm
  55. Jerk

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 12:30am
  56. Merry Christmas to you too You Bastard!!!!

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 12:35am
  57. Yes- legalize same-sex marriage nationally and the problem is eliminated. This will never stand up in a court of law. So tired of this garbage!

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 12:45am
  58. so did the folks in Michigan know they were voting for a bigot or is this an ugly suprise? :(

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 2:00am
  59. I see this going to court and AZ’s case sets a precedent that they can’t take health coverage away from an unpopular group. This also affects heterosexual non married couples. I’m sure this won’t stand in court

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 3:23am
  60. Again Michigan…..IDIOTS.

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 4:06am
  61. Ban ANY benefits for ALL politicians then! My GOD what next?

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 4:15am
  62. You get what you vote for.

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 4:44am
  63. Sigh….. So shortsighted:(

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 5:43am
  64. I just love equal rights.

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 6:34am
  65. Another bigited ass hole

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 8:01am
  66. So, what about people who are living in other kinds of nonlegal relationships? Like elders who divorced and kept living together as if they were married to get a better deal from the government on their pensions, you know, to make even with inflation? And what if they would marry, if only that Christnick preacher wouldn’t keep shoving their religion down their throat, you know, I’m a Satanic, Pagan, Buddhist, Hoodoo, and there are no ministers favorable to my alternate perspective? Oo, and what about people who don’t have the legal paperwork because they would rather have lunch with that money? Or, wasn’t there a time when you couldn’t marry because of cosmetic differences, like he’s White, Anglo-straight, Patriot, and she’s French African Jamaican?

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 8:11am
  67. Recall!

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 9:25am
  68. PRICKS & DICK HEADS, all of them.

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 9:50am
  69. Anyone know how to say unequal treatment? or, perhaps, no taxation without representation? the lawyers ought to get rich on this one.

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 10:10am
  70. Snyder is a hateful and sad person. May he be a ONE TERM Gov.

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 12:28pm
  71. I’ll never understand why Rethuglican, conservative, right-wing, religious fanatics think they can force other normal people to accept their deviant views and lifestyle. They love to tell other people how to live their lives, while their own lives are in shambles. The Christian (esp. Catholic, Mormon, Evangelical, and Southern Baptist) Taliban in this country are going to face a violent wake up call soon if they keep trying to spread their hatred, intolerant views, and intolerant actions on normal Americans. And it is patently unfair that gay Americans and their loved ones should suffer the devastating effects of discrimination while the bigots and their loved ones go about their lives as if nothing is wrong. Anyone coming into contact with Gov. Snyder, members of the Michigan House or Senate that voted for discrimination, or their loved ones, should take any action possible to harm them.

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 12:49pm
  72. gggggggrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How much shame and hate do we have to have in this world? How much ignorance and stupidty do we have to have before people will take notice and change their way of thinking

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 2:10pm
  73. Why is it that some straight people try to make everything a “straight” issue? What these people do behind closed doors is up to them, but when they try to push their conservative straight agenda on me and my family of choice, it goes took far!!!

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 3:07pm
  74. Join the 21st century. Your way behind the times….

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 4:50pm
  75. @ rob – I understand why you may be upset. I agree with the fact that the LGBT community is being oppressed just like the Jews did in Europe in the past century and are just short of getting herded into showers. This bill/law looks constitutionally wrong and should be removed but inciting violence on not only these morons but their families too is just wrong. What makes you think that the loved ones support this? Hold people accountable for their own actions… not for those committed by others.

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 5:28pm
  76. This could open up a giant can of worms. Think of this if you will, president Obama said all Americans must have healthcare but a certain date, would this STATE bill undercut a FEDERAL regulation/law to deny healthcare to people who are part of the LGBT community? Think about that and see if your mind works as mine does on that subject.

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 6:29pm
  77. He has only shown how ignorant he is to the world around him. However he wasn’t the only one who supported this bill and by singling him out we are only doing to him what he has done to others.

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 8:58pm
  78. By the way it doesn’t make u look any less ignorant and stupid when you decide to generalize about any religious groups. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 9:04pm
  79. Wake Up Call for DOMA Repeal. Vanessa…as a Christian and working in the streets to repeal Prop 8….I am aware first hand that the religious segment is “the” most hateful dogmatic group against GLBT equality. Not a matter of being ignorant, stupid or having a black kettle…it just is.

    Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2011 at 3:03pm
  80. Government needs to treat every “Marriage” as a Civil Union; Let the religious organizations be the ones that discriminate if they want. It doesn’t make sense for the government to be involved in anything but the basic idea of the partnership.

    Posted on Monday, December 26, 2011 at 1:31am
  81. FUCK YOU SNYDER!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 10:00am