Thursday, May 08, 2008

A Sad Day For Michigan

Our Supreme Court has just declared, thanks to the anti-same-sex marriage amendment to our state Constitution, public-sector benefits for same-sex partners unconstitutional. Read about it here .

This is punitive, plain and simple. It has nothing to do with "protecting the institution of marriage." It has nothing to do with keeping down health insurance costs. It's all about "Let's go after the gays." It's bigotry enshrined in state law.

Thank you, Christian conservatives, for hurting families across the State of Michigan, in your eagerness to manifest your contempt for gay people through the legislative process. I hope you're happy dreaming about all the extra sparkles you've earned for your heavenly crowns by being such kick-ass Real Christians.[tm]

P.S. If you think your activism is going to make us leave the state so that you don't have to live next to us or pay taxes that support services we use or otherwise deal with us...sorry. Ain't happenin'.

P.P.S. If you think your activism is going to somehow convert us to heterosexuality...bad news; it ain't.

P.P.P.S. If you think that we are not in your own faith communities, clinging to Christ despite everything his followers do to us in his name...wrong again.


more cows than people said...

a sad day indeed. damn.

Beth said...

Don't you just hate it when Christians cling to their own prejudice and then blame it on the One who was completely without prejudice?

P.S. an after-thought said...

I wish that governments would just take the sexuality overtones out of regulations about "partners." Partners could be friends, for convenience, siblings, unmarried partners who sleep together or not, etc., just as long as they were designated and the people pay part of the insurance costs. That would level the playing field for everybody with less of the anti-gay baggage.

Verdugo said...

I am ashamed for us.

Tom in Ontario said...

See how the election turns out. If McCain gets in then just come to Canada.

toujoursdan said...

What a shame. Some highly qualified people will choose private sector employment and government and public services will be staffed by the less-qualified.

LutheranChik said...

The irony is...our governor has for a long time tried various ineffectual ways to attract a younger, more sophisticated demographic to the state. The reality, of course, is that these people are fleeing Michigan in droves, leaving behind a population the least able or inclined to make this a progressive state again. We're turning into a Faulkneresque backwater of -- yes -- bitter, resentful regressionists.

Trish said...

I don't want to seem completely unimaginative or sheeply (different from sheepish; meaning, you know... I am going to follow along with whatever anyone tells me), but I wouldn't mind seeing your idea of what we can personally do to try to help the situation of GLBT folks. I'm not saying this in a negative way. I am honestly curious about effective things we can do to help. I think it sucks that good, hard-working, honest people are denied stuff that others take for granted just because of who they love. This has been on my mind a lot lately, and yet, I'm having troubles coming up with ideas that are realistic. I don't mean to give you an assignment, but I want to let you know that I truly do want to help. And there are many more people like me.

Anonymous said...

Lutheranchick, you can be excused for bearing false witness against aupporters of the Marriage Protection Amendment presumably because it's based on ignorance.

The MI Supreme Court simply upheld last year’s MI Court of Appeals decision.

Attorney Jay Kaplan of the Michigan ACLU, lead counsel for the homosexual plaintiffs in the MI case, last June told Lansing City Pulse:

“‘The Michigan Court of Appeals decision never said that public employers could not provide health care coverage to domestic partners of employees,’ Kaplan wrote in an e-mail. He said that employers can provide health insurance coverage for domestic partners as long as they do not specifically recognize the domestic partner relationship — by filing domestic partner benefit forms, for example — when determining criteria for insurance eligibility.”

Between the Lines, a homosexual activist newsweekly in Detroit, reported:

“(ACLU-Michigan lawyer Jay) Kaplan says that even under the Appeals Court ruling, benefits can be offered, but they have to be done in a way which does not recognize same-sex partners or relationships.”

Kalamazoo Alliance for Equality, a homosexual activist group, said last June in a news release:

“The Michigan Court of Appeals did not say that health insurance coverage for domestic partners is illegal. The court said that public employers cannot use criteria that recognizes the domestic partner relationship.”

As a result of the Appeals ruling, upheld this week, public employers in MI simply broadened the eligibility criteria so that so-called "domestic partner" benefits were no longer available only for homosexual couples, i.e., so that the benefits were no longer based on govt recognition of a homosexual partnership. The new plans at U-M, MSU and elsewhere still include homosexual partners, but they also now include other categories of employees who weren’t eligible before.

Thus, as a direct result of the Marriage Protection Amendment, not only has no individual lost any benefit, but under the broader criteria now in place at U-M, MSU, etc., more citizens — not fewer — are now eligible for coverage under govt employees’ health care plans than were before.

You think it would be more "Christian" to revert back to the previous homosexual domestic partner-only benefit policies, and take benefits away from those new categories of govt employees who are now eligible but weren't before?

cheesehead said...

I read this this morning and got really, really angry!

Choralgirl said...

Chik--I'm so sorry. It's exhausting and kind of depressing to always be wondering where the next arrow is coming from.

Anonymous--I humbly ask that you try to see this ruling from a gay person's POV...having to argue in church, in court, in our families of origin, and in the workplace that our relationships are really not different from straight relationships. We raise kids, we do the dishes, we take the recyclables to the curb.

It's insulting to be told that the institution of marriage needs "defending" from the likes of us, who are just trying to live our lives in peace. Please don't try to paint this effort as one to "help" us and our families. We've been on the receiving end of this kind of "help" too long to not recognize it for what it is.

Grace and peace to you.

Cecilia said...

Anonymous seems to be saying that glbt folks have not lost these benefits... is that true? I'm not in your state... just wondering.

Pax, C.

LutheranChik said...

I too am wondering why my legally married friends need "protecting" from my partner and myself. I guess it's from that whole nefarious "Gay Agenda." Hmmm...let's my household our gay agenda today includes breakfast; working in a community-based nonprofit that helps people (and paying the taxes that help more people); buying food from local farmers and our food coop; vacuuming; laundry; attending our church's Mother-Daughter banquet, having fun and taking pix for the church website; probably washing the dogs after they take an unauthorized dip in the pond; and maybe, if we're not too tired at the end of the day, playing Wii darts. My God -- no wonder the straight folks need protecting! ROFLMAO. Hey, Anonymous: How about if we wear bells, too, so you know we're coming in your direction and can get safely out of the way. [rolling eyes]

RevAnne said...

LC, thanks for your treatment of this issue. Truly, regardless of our theological positions on homosexuality, Christians are called to advocate for justice for all people--not just the ones we like. As a justice issue, benefits for domestic partnerships make sense, and if we truly hold that all people are God's children and beloved of God, then we have a responsibility to deal with them in love and in kindness. Plus, there's the whole mote in their eye-log in mine thing, or in Jesus' words, "let the one without sin cast the first stone." It ain't me, and he didn't either. Why is "love one another" such a hard standard to live up to?

Julie said...

okay, this is a side-step, but I'm thinking about the need for universal health care that would make this a moot issue. This aft. the wonderful woman who cuts my hair - back when I had hair; today I got a pedicure - reminded me that since her divorce, she's living without health insurance. Think of all the kids not covered. Basic healthcare is a right, and needs to be covered by the government, not our loved ones.

Counselor in Process said...

Yea, what Lutheran Chik said, me too!
Although we're not waiting to see what will happen in the NY State Legislature. We're going to Toronto to tie the knot Memorial Day week!
I'm a NY State employee and the state does accept gay marriage from other countries as legal.(go figure?)