Skip to comments.EMU partner benefits criticized
Posted on 02/26/2005 9:30:09 AM PST by AFA-Michigan
Activist focuses on half-tuition waiver for employees' same-sex domestic partners
Eastern Michigan University and a conservative activist are squabbling over the university's policy regarding same-sex domestic partner benefits.
The disagreement began Wednesday when Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, denounced EMU's policy in a statement delivered to Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox.
Glenn focused on the university's recent expansion of a half-tuition waiver for same-sex domestic partners of EMU employees, saying the policy violates the gay marriage ban passed by Michigan voters in November.
EMU Board of Regents voted Nov. 30 to expand the benefit to non-union employees. Union employees already had the benefit.
Glenn urged Cox to force EMU to stop offering the benefit. "By vote of the people of Michigan, our state government -- and that includes state university officials -- is required to recognize marriage as being only between one man and one woman," Glenn wrote. "Conversely, government employers are prohibited from recognizing or treating homosexual relationships as equal or similar to marriage, which is clearly the intent and effect of EMU's unconstitutional policy."
"What's particularly galling to many taxpayers is that by giving students involved in homosexual behavior half off their tuition, EMU officials force taxpayers and other students to make up the difference and thereby subsidize behavior they sincerely believe is wrong."
EMU spokesman Ward Mullens said Craig Willis, EMU's interim president, plans to send a cease-and-desist letter to Glenn, asking him to stop what Willis described as an inaccurate portrayal of EMU's policy.
Willis was unavailable for comment Friday, but in a statement relayed by Mullens said, "I am concerned at the misinformation being distributed by Mr. Glenn. His assertion that EMU's policy extends to students involved in homosexual relationships with university employees is wrong."
"Our policy is clear. It covers EMU employees, their spouse and children and a same-sex domestic partner, provided the couple can legally prove that they have been together for at least a year."
Allison Pierce, spokeswoman for the attorney general's office, said Glenn's statement is one of several inquiries Cox has received regarding same-sex domestic partner benefits.
She said Cox plans to look at the issue and respond with an opinion but would not specify a timetable nor how Cox views the issue.
"The attorney general takes all these requests seriously," Pierce said.
The University of Michigan extends health benefits to same-sex domestic partners but has no tuition waiver policy.
Glenn said he might challenge U-M's policy at some point but had singled out EMU because its benefits involved tuition.
"I find that especially offensive to taxpayers," Glenn said.
Glenn said he did not take issue with EMU's half-tuition waiver for union employees because they were already covered by a collective bargaining agreement that supersedes state policy while it is in effect.
EMU's non-union group includes administrators, coaches and administrative secretaries. About 200 employees are in the non-union group.
EMU President Craig Willis says: "(AFA-Michigan's) assertion that EMU's (half-off tuition) policy extends to students involved in homosexual relationships with university employees is wrong."
Then President Willis says: "Our policy is clear. It covers EMU employees, their spouse and children and a same-sex domestic partner, provided the couple can legally prove that they have been together for at least a year."
Depending on what the definition of the word "is" is, Willis apparently believes he can doubletalk taxpayers into seeing some distinction where none exists.
To use his own words, "same-sex domestic partner(s)" who form "couple(s)" with "EMU employees" and then actually use the student tuition waiver are in fact, obviously, and by definition, "students involved in homosexual relationships with university employees." No contradiction. No confusion. One and the same.
And how exactly will a "same-sex...couple" legally prove how long they've been together, since constitutionally, such relationships are not recognized by Michigan law?
What is clear is this: using tax dollars to make up the difference, EMU is giving half off tuition to some students specifically on the basis of their being involved in a homosexual relationship with an EMU employee, a policy obviously intended to recognize and treat homosexual relationships as equal or similar to marriage. Such a policy clearly violates the voter-approved Marriage Protection provisions of our state constitution.
If you disagree with EMU's use of tax dollars to subsidize and financially reward homosexual behavior, please contact:
EMU President Willis
This is pure discrimination! If EMU insists on granting benefits to same sex domestic partners, then they should be forced to give the same benefits to boyfriend/girlfriend couples living together.
I clicked on this expecting to read about health insurance for nearly extinct flightless birds.
Oh. I thought the birds were suing http://www.blue-emu.com/
I'd rather even pay for an emu. At least they are supposed to be good eating.
If you want on/off the ping list see my profile page.
"Life expectancy at age 20 years (college age) for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 20 years less than for all men. If the same pattern of mortality were to continue, we estimate that nearly half of gay and bisexual men currently aged 20 years will not reach their 65th birthday."
International Journal of Epidemiology
So if a student allows the janitor or his professor to stick his fist up his butt he gets a break in tuition? How progressive!
Apparently, he has to let him do it for one year, then he gets half off tuition.
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