Via press release the ACLU announced that a federal judge has ruled the Michigan law barring domestic partner benefits is unconstitutional:
A federal judge today ruled that a state law that would have barred many public entities from providing health insurance to the domestic partners of their employees is unconstitutional. The American Civil Liberties Union and Kirkland & Ellis LLP challenged the law on behalf of five gay and lesbian public employees, as well as their long-term domestic partners, who either lost their health insurance or would have lost their insurance as a result of the law.
“We’re breathing a sigh of relief right now,” said Peter Ways, an Ann Arbor teacher whose partner would have lost his benefits. “This law was clearly meant to target families like ours and to make us feel as though we didn’t count.” In striking down the law, U.S. District Court Judge David M. Lawson found it discriminated by forcing cities, counties, school districts, and community colleges to cancel family benefits for gay and lesbian employees in committed relationships while heterosexual employees had the ability to marry their partners to maintain health insurance. Same-sex couples cannot marry in Michigan.