Reporting Sandra McNeill
LANSING (WWJ) - A pair of bills that would ban health insurance benefits for domestic partners of public workers are now headed to a vote on the State Senate floor.
That’s despite the opposition of American Civil Liberties Union attorney Jay Kaplan, who said lawmakers who support the bills are discriminating against same-sex couples in Michigan.
“They are elected officials. They’re here to serve all the people who live in Michigan and, surprise, there are gay families who live in Michigan. Gay families who are raising children, who pay taxes,” said Kaplan.
Kaplan told WWJ’s Sandra McNeil the bills would take away local governments’ and schools’ rights to choose for themselves.
“If the residents of a school district don’t like that they can go to their school board … If people don’t like that a university’s doing that they can go to the board of regents,” Kaplan said. “We don’t need the legislature micromanaging, you know, local governments and telling them how they’re supposed to pay their employees.”
Kaplan said legislatures should be concentrating on turning our state’s economy around.
“This legislation will create no new jobs. And it does nothing toward making people wanting to stay in Michigan … entrepreneurs who could bring technology. It offers nothing that’s going to encourage people to come to this state,” he said.
Kaplan testified Wednesday before a Senate committee hearing.