While speaking yesterday at the Gerald Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was booed for opposing marriage equality.
When the time came to take questions, Cantor was asked how he squares his support for states’ rights with his support for the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
He offered the explanation that he just believes in “traditional marriage” then offered some irrelevant rhetoric about how all Americans “should allow for equal opportunity to earn the success that we’re after.” Huh?
Same sex marriage and domestic partnerships are a hot and divisive topic at the University of Michigan at the moment. The state senate is currently considering HB 4770, which would which, in a purported attempt to save the state money, would deny benefits to the domestic partners of state employees. University of Michigan faculty and staff are threatening a “mass exodus” if the bill passes. AnnArbor.com reports:
U-M Latin professor Sara Ahbel-Rappe said that if bill 4770 passes there will likely be a large exodus of professors who leave the university.
“It’s a total slap in the face. It tells me that I don’t deserve the same consideration” as heterosexual couples, she said. “People will leave.”
Ahbel-Rappe and six other professors authored a letter to Gov. Rick Synder asking him not to sign bill 4770 if passed by the senate. The letter calls the bill discriminatory and says it will negatively affect staff recruitment at the university.
U-M officials are also concerned about the bill’s effects. Nearly all of U-M’s competitors offer benefits to same-sex partners. So do most Fortune 500 companies.
You can read the full statement of opposition from the University of Michigan chapter of the American Association of University Presidents here.