US: Unmarried couples lose legal benefits where gay marriage banned - By Marisol Bello, USA TODAYremember the dan savage column exhorting us apathetic straight folks to get off our asses if we didn't think social conservatives wouldn't eventually start making some legal inroads in our hetero-normative lives?
States that have banned gay marriage are beginning to revoke the benefits of domestic partners of public employees.
Michigan has gone farthest, prohibiting cities, universities and other public employers from offering benefits to same-sex partners. In all, 27 states have passed constitutional amendments defining marriage as the legally sanctioned union of a man and a woman.
A Michigan court ruled in February that public employers may not offer benefits to unmarried partners, gay or straight, because of a 2004 amendment defining marriage. Government employers there had offered benefits only to gay couples.
Kalamazoo and the Ann Arbor school district have notified employees that they will end domestic partners' benefits. An appeal is before the state Supreme Court.
Kentucky Attorney General Gregory Stumbo ruled this month that the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville may not offer benefits to domestic partners, gay or straight. A U.S. appeals court last year upheld Nebraska's amendment barring government employers from granting benefits, including health insurance, to same-sex couples. It didn't address benefits for unmarried heterosexual couples.
Ohio state Rep. Tom Brinkman, a Republican, has filed a lawsuit to bar Miami University of Ohio from offering benefits to same-sex partners of employees.
"We're in kind of a giant race, a historic race, with all these court cases," says Matt Daniels, president of Alliance for Marriage, which lobbies for a marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution. "When the dust settles, we'll have a national standard for marriage. What is going on in the states is a dress rehearsal."
Gay-rights activists say they are fighting for families, too.
"Anti-gay organizations have tried to attack currently existing protections for gays and lesbians and unmarried couples for a long time," says Camilla Taylor, an attorney for the gay-rights organization Lambda Legal. "They don't want to limit marriage between a man and a woman — they want to attack the protections that exist and make life difficult for non-traditional families."
Most of the 27 state amendments were passed after a 2004 Massachusetts law allowed gay marriage. An additional 17 states passed marriage laws but did not amend their constitutions.
I've been running around with my hair on fire trying to convince my straight readers that religious conservatives don't just hate homos. Their attacks on gay people, relationships, parents, and sex get all the press, but the American Taliban has an anti-straight-rights agenda too. As I wrote on March 23: "The GOP's message to straight Americans: If you have sex, we want it to fuck up your lives as much as possible. No birth control, no emergency contraception, no abortion services, no lifesaving vaccines. If you get pregnant, tough shit. You're going to have those babies, ladies, and you're going to make those child-support payments, gentlemen. And if you get HPV and it leads to cervical cancer, well, that's too bad. Have a nice funeral, slut."
in the words of dan, this is some serious shit, breeders.