After a lower court ruled that the gay marriage ban applies to benefits, some universities switched their benefits programs so that they were available not to domestic partners but to â€œother eligible individuals,â€? a category that would include many gay partners, but would also include others who live with but are not legally related to university employees. For example, the University of Michiganâ€™s criteria include joint residence for at least six months, some joint financial ties such as checking accounts, and no legal relationship or marriage between the individuals involved.
After the Supreme Court decision Wednesday, the university immediately asserted that its new benefits are not domestic partner benefits and are thus not covered by the ruling. Further, the university said it had eliminated domestic partner benefits after the lower courtâ€™s decision. â€œThe university believes all current benefit offerings are in full compliance with Michigan law. The university cares deeply about recruitment, retention, and maintaining a healthy workforce and we design our benefits with these principles in mind,â€? the statement said.
This is why these kind of referendums (like the 2004 ballot measure that created the MI law) are so insidious. I wonder how many of the people who voted against gay marriage would agree that same sex couples should be denied access to each other’s health care.
Thanks to Rose for the link