Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
DETROIT – Michigan’s campus offices working with the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community have announced their response to the Michigan Appeals Court’s anti-families ruling made on Feb. 2, prohibiting public employers from offering domestic partnership benefits.
“These benefits provide health care and other important services to the families our office works with every day,” said Gregory Storms, program manager of The Ellen Bommarito LGBT Center at University of Michigan – Flint.
“It is unfortunate that these reckless judges were so willing to harm these families and put children’s health at risk in an attempt to do something on behalf of voters that the voters didn’t even want them to do,” added Storms.
The Michigan Consortium of Higher Education GLBT Centers this week unveiled a web site providing information on the Appeals Court’s ruling and empowering people to voice their opposition to the ruling. The web site – www.tri.org/protectourfamilies – allows people to contact their elected officials, submit stories about how the ruling affects them and contribute to the effort to undo the damage the Court of Appeals has done.
“When judges decide that employers no longer have the ability to decide who can receive health benefits, you know it is time to speak out. With the passage of Proposal 2 in 2004, Proposal 2 in 2006, and the recent court ruling, it has become very clear that those of us committed to social justice need to come together and build coalitions. We must move away from the “just us” mentality and toward the “justice” mentality,” said Jackie Simpson, director of the Office of LGBT Affairs at the University of Michigan.
“Given the economic crisis our state is in, discouraging an educated workforce from staying in Michigan by causing them to pick between food and health care seems like a step backward instead of forward,” said Kate Brindle, program coordinator of Your LGBT Resource Center at Eastern Michigan University.
“For the Michigan universities that currently offer benefits, the court decision will have a tragic impact on their ability to attract and retain talented faculty, staff, and students,” said Brent Bilodeau, director of the Office of LBGT Concerns at Michigan State University.
As stories from individuals impacted by this ruling are collected they will be posted on the Web site – http://www.tri.org/protectourfamilies – and shared with the public. The Consortium is also working on other ways members and supporters of their campus community can participate in responding.