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Court of Appeals rules negotiated health benefits for a partner does not violate Michigan ban on gay marriage

This week a panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals rejected the Republican Attorney General's argument that allowing governmental employees to negotiate health benefits for non-married persons constitutes a violation of Michigan's ban on gay marriage. The Attorney General argued that an earlier decision by the Michigan Supreme Court's Republican majority controlled this case and invalidated the negotiated benefits.  The Court of Appeals panel pointed out that the earlier decision addressed benefits expressly negotiated for gay partners, while the current benefits are not limited in a similar manner.  The judges concluded the current policy is not a violation of the so-called "Michigan Marriage Amendment."

This holding, unfortunately, will not withstand scrutiny from the highly partisan majority of the Michigan Supreme Court.  The Republican majority will almost certainly strike down the decision, regardless of its legal merits.

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