Ann Arbor to Snyder: Keep Same-Sex Benefits

At its Sept. 19, 2011 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council passed a resolution urging Gov. Rick Snyder not to sign House bills 4770 and 4771, which prohibit public employers from providing certain benefits to public employees and will eliminate benefits for domestic partners of the same gender.

The language of the resolution notes that a number of public entities provide health care benefits for domestic partners of either gender – including the state of Michigan, public universities, as well as city and county governments, and public school districts.

The resolution was sponsored by Sandi Smith (Ward 1).

Jeff Irwin – a Democrat who represents House District 53, which includes most of Ann Arbor – voted against the bills and argued on the House floor against them: “If this becomes law, we will have two employees working side by side with the same qualifications and experience and the employee living in a traditional family will receive significantly greater compensation. That is clearly unfair and discriminatory.”

The council resolution reaffirmed Ann Arbor’s “commitment to a diverse and accepting culture.”

This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]