“Others say (the Marriage Protection Amendment) states clearly who is, and who is not eligible for health benefits. Gary Glenn, President of American Family (Association) of Michigan: ‘The people in Michigan defined what marriage is, and that is one man and one woman, and that is what the issue is all about, and that definition includes (taxpayer-financed) health care benefits.'”
WLNS-TV Channel 6
August 17, 2005
Recap of Same-Sex Marriage Hearing
Julian Grace reporting
The battle over benefits for same-sex couples will continue as a judge could not to reach a decision. Gay rights advocates crowded a Lansing courtroom Tuesday afternoonto hear oral arguments over a constitutional ban on gay marriage approved by voters last year.
Representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union and 21 other couples are asking the State not to ban same-sex partner benefits. Lawyers for the ACLU say proposal 2 only defines marriage, a nd not health care benefits for same-sex partners, b ut the State Attorney General’s Office does not agree, a nd that’s why both parties were in court.
The battle for same-sex health benefits started outside with a rally. Then it took to the courtroom where attorneys for both sides d ebated the legality of proposal 2.
Deborah Laballe, ACLU Lawyer: “T he voters, in voting for this amendment, clearly did not intend to deprive employees of the State of Michigan health insurance.”
But others say proposal 2 states clearly who is, and who is not eligible for health benefits.
Gary Glenn, President of American Family (Association) of Michigan: “The people in Michigan defined what marriage is, and that is one man and one woman, and that is what the issue is all about, and that definition includes health care benefits.”
Those against same-sex health benefits say proposal 2 is being misinterpreted by the gay and lesbian community, and that their misinterpretation could change health insurance in the state of Michigan, but after 2 hours of debating, the judge put an end to the hearing with no resolution, which did not deter either side.
Even though a decision from the judge is expected to come soon, b oth sides say this is long from over. While the hearing heated up inside the court, a number of protestors voiced their displeasure outside as well. ACLU officials and those for same-sex benefits rallied outside the court room. Protestors listened to a number of speakers in favor for gay rights, and one protestor says he doesn’t understand what the state is trying to accomplish.
A.T. Miller, same-sex supporter: “We don’t understand why are benefits are being attacked, we don’t receive the same benefits as married couples, as my colleagues, even though we all work for U of M.”
And plans for another protest rally are in the works.