A divided Michigan Court of Appeals has upheld extending health benefits to the live-in partners of state employees.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette challenged the state Civil Service Commission agreement with public employee unions.
Among other things, the attorney general says the policy violates Michigan’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions.
But the court’s majority said the policy makes no distinction between people in same-sex relationships and heterosexual live-in partners.
Nevertheless, Emily Dievendorf of Equality Michigan said the decision is a victory for gay rights.
“We know that at this point in our country’s history, the majority of Americans and now the majority of Michigan voters and Michigan residents are on the right side of history when it comes to gay rights,” she said.
129 couples and their families are covered by state live-in partner benefits.
The attorney general could appeal the ruling to the Michigan Supreme Court.
A divided panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals has upheld extending health benefits to the live-in partners of state employees.
The court majority said the policy does not violate Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions because it treats same-sex and heterosexual live-in partners the same way.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette could appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court.