Domestic partners feeling pinch from Michigan ban on benefits; lawsuit against 2011 law pending
More than six months after hearing arguments, a federal judge hasn't made a decision in a lawsuit challenging Michigan's ban on health insurance for domestic partners in public schools and local government.
The 2011 law is having an impact.
Gerardo Ascheri of Lansing is paying $460 a month for insurance after losing benefits through his partner's employment with Ingham County. He's also driving to the Detroit area three times a week where he certifies piano teachers, partly because the job helps cover the bill.
Ascheri says he feels like a "second-class citizen."
The American Civil Liberties Union says a handful of school districts offered domestic partner benefits, along with Ingham County, Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo.
READ: ACLU targets partner benefits ban
The ACLU is asking Detroit federal Judge David Lawson to declare the law unconstitutional.
Supporters say the law saves tax dollars and follows the spirit of a statewide vote in 2004 in which Michigan residents defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
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