The American Civi Liberties Union (ACLU) and the ACLU of Michigan are suing the state over a new law that prohibits public employers from providing health insurance to the domestic partners of public employees.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday, claims that the law "discriminates by categorically denying domestic partners access to benefits and violates the constitutional right to equal protection by forcing gay and lesbian employees in committed relationships to carry the financial hardship and anxiety of being uninsured, while allowing heterosexual couples to marry and receive family health protections," according to a press release from the ACLU of Michigan.
The bill was signed into law on Dec. 22, according to the Associated Press, and the news agency notes that the law applies to unmarried partners of the same and opposite sexes. In signing the bill, Gov. Rick Snyder said it would save the state money and follows a 2004 statewide vote that defined marriage as between a man and a woman, according to AP.
The ACLU lawsuit says the state had previously allowed cities, counties and school districts to make their own decisions to cover domestic partners for health insurance. It questions Snyder's claims of cost savings, as domestic partners pay taxes on their benefits. The ACLU release also notes that a similar law in Arizona, which banned benefits for unmarried partners of state workers, was struck down by a federal court of appeals in September 2011.
A copy of the complaint can be founded below.