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Friday, December 23, 2011

Op/Ed-What about the children? Three days before X-Mas, Gov. Snyder signs law ending Domestic Partner benefits

English: Children dancing, International Peace...
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On Thursday, December 22nd, Governor Rick Snyder (R) signed into law a bill  many Gay, Lesbian and Heterosexual living together partners plus a growing number of Michiganders will not forget.

Snyder signed into law, a bill banning Domestic Partner benefits for any entity that receives state funding, with the possible exception of state based Universities and state employees. Final determination on the latter part, remains to be seen.

What About The Children?

Our outstanding question on this latest Draconian Law Snyder has signed is, "What about the innocent children that are now without health insurance because Gov. Snyder doesn't agree with their care takers or parents lifestyle?"

Children can easily be forgotten. They are under the age of 18 so, they can't sign a recall petition or vote.

Children don't have a voice, technically. Any parent worth their salt, know that children have many voices and express them freely in some cases but, whatever words they might speak about the Domestic Partner Benefit Ban Law would have to be followed up by actions of adults to overturn it.

For the child of a Domestic Partner suffering from a childhood illness requiring continual treatment until and after adulthood like Asthma, Leukemia, Sickle Cell Anemia, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes, Muscular Dystrophy, Attention Deficit Disorder and others; Gov. Snyder with the stroke of a pen said they don't manner at all.

The ban against Domestic Partner benefits for county and local entities receiving state funding is a callous act, three days shy of the Christmas Holiday season. It appears Michiganders are waking up to why Snyder's far-right Conservative type of government is wrong for Michigan. 

Michiganders changing opinions on if Gov. Snyder should remain the states' Chief Executive

A growing number of Michigan's voters are starting to believe that another recall attempt against Gov. Snyder is now warranted, after he signed a law founded on bigotry.

Let's look at some of the comments on this now law, on Rick Snyder's hometown newspaper Ann, December 22nd

Comment poster- 'Edward R. Murrow's Ghost'"I had not signed a recall petition the first time around. I will now. This isn't about jobs. It isn't about the budget. This is bigotry, plain and simple."
Comment poster 'Alan Goldsmith'Rick Snyder: Profiles in Courage.
"It is unclear whether the bill applies to state universities, although Snyder asserts that it does not. House Republicans, meanwhile, say it does apply to university employees."
Gutless caving in to right wing thugs. Congrats 'Nerd' for turning Michigan in Mississippi and Alabama.
Comment poster 'aabikes'
Extremely disappointing. Trying to promote and defend Michigan to my fellow recent college grads becomes harder and harder every day... :(
Comment poster 'grimmk'
I'm ashamed to call myself a Michigander! How dare he dictate the rights of human beings? I'd be calling him all kinds of things but I don't want my post to be deleted. This hurts everyone, not just the gay community. This tells people to NOT live here. It will damage our economy even more. Who wants to have a job in Michigan if you can't even help your own spouse/significant other? Benefits are hard enough to come by in any job.
And this comment from 'aataxayer' that hits a point that Domestic Partner Benefits, will hurt more than just Gay and Lesbian couples.
I had two aunts that lived together their entire lives and were, in effect, domestic partners. I see no problem with domestic partners including a relationships that don't involve sex. It reminds me a years ago when dependent care was only considered applicable to children but is not applied to caring for elders as well. Let's grow up and allow people to live as they please. This is not about a large sum of money. 

Michigan Constitution Applies When, the Mood Fits 

In September 2005, a Ingham County Circuit Court judge ruled that a constitutional amendment reaffirming Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage, does not prevent public entities from providing domestic partner benefits to their employees.

Former Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s after a Circuit Court Judge ruling, renistated Domestic Partner Benefits for state employees, on October 1, 2005 after the  judge ruled them to be legal under Proposal 2, that bans same-sex marriage in the state of Michigan.
“It appears the legal cloud has been lifted and the benefits negotiated at the bargaining table now can be submitted to the bipartisan Civil Service Commission for approval,” Liz Boyd, former spokeswoman for Gov. Jennifer Granholm said in a statement. The commission must ratify the contract before it can take effect.”
If the legal clouds were as clear as a blue as the summer sky in 2005, why would Gov. Snyder take a action based solely on prejudice and deny health, dental, vision and life insurance benefits to Michigan's Domestic Partners and their children? Especially when one considers while campaigning to be Governor of Michigan, Snyder stated he 'didn't want to focus on social issues. 

 Guess, Snyder did a complete 360 degree turn on this issue.
"He's not been focused on the social issue aspect; he's been focused on what the voters have mandated, on fixing Michigan's economy and making sure we have more and better jobs," Sara Wurfel spokesperson for Gov. Snyder told the Huffington Post on December 8th. "Now that it is getting closer we're going to have to take a closer look and ensure constitutionality and those things."
Back to the old fall back, the Michigan Constitution, huh Ms. Wurfel?

Amazing that our founding state document magically applies when it comes to removing Domestic Partners and their children off of cafeteria type benefits. But, it doesn't applies to allowing local voters choice in who makes their governmental decisions. 

Under another measure Gov. Snyder signed earlier this year into law Public Act #4, known as the Emergency Manager (EM) Bill, allows for an E.M. to remove local elected officials voted into office by residents.

In direct contrast to Michigan Home Rule Act of 1909 and 1963, which is a part of our states' Constitution, gives a person or corporation appointed by Gov. Snyder and state Treasurer Andy Dillion ad-hoc rights all of a city, county, township or city government functions. Those rights include selling public land right  underneath residents noses, who have paid for the property with their local tax dollars.

Guess Gov. Snyder picks and chooses what parts of Michigan Constitution applies to him, on times convenient for his agenda.

The American's Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) will draft an legal challenge to Gov. Snyder signing this bill, into law in the near future.
Kary Moss, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, called the statute "mean-spirited and cruel." A lawsuit on behalf of "families who will lose their health protections" will be forthcoming, she said to Detroit Free Press.

From The Ashes, A New Effort to Recall Gov. Rick Snyder RISES 

Another effort to remove Gov. Snyder from office completely, by recall, is in the organizational stages of planning operations for early next year. The group named Michigan Rising, seeks success in another effort to recall Michigan's Governor. For a recall referendum vote to take place, a minimum of 805,000 registered voters signatures must affirm a vote on if Gov. Snyder should remain in office until  the end of his term on December 31, 2014 or be removed.

As noted earlier, the children of Domestic Partners can't sign a recall petition. Will you be their voice and join into this effort? Will you stand up for Michigan's future that is not based on bias, intolerance and prejudice? Would you carry a petition for a child that can't get necessary treatment for diseases due to their parent or caregivers lifestyle?

Michiganders are better than this law! Let's stand together instead of allowing others with backwoods agendas to separate us. Show our Governor and his Republican State Legislature cohorts, we are refuse to have divisive lines based on class, income, race, sex, gender or economic status.

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