Friday, December 23, 2011

Meanwhile in Michissippi

Posted by on Fri, Dec 23, 2011 at 9:35 AM

An ugly development in Michigan:

Many government employers in Michigan will be barred from providing health care benefits to the domestic partners of public employees under legislation signed by Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday. Snyder said the prohibition will not apply to employees of the state public universities or to state government employees.

The measure does apply to municipal and school employees, and to homosexual and heterosexual couples alike. It was primarily aimed at ending the practice of providing benefits to same-sex couples, which was adopted by a handful of cities, schools and most of the state's public universities after the adoption of the state's one-man, one-woman marriage amendment in 2004. Snyder had been under pressure from gay rights activists and others to veto the bill.

But lead sponsor Rep. David Agema, R-Grandville, praised the governor's decision, saying, "Time and again, Michigan residents have said 'no' to paying for the health benefits of the roommates and unmarried partners of public employees, and the governor's signature today gives the people's voice the rule of law."

Good to know that the law applies to "homosexual and heterosexual couples alike." Of course, unmarried heterosexual couples have the option of becoming married heterosexual couples.

And if a few small towns in Michigan wanted to deny domestic partner benefits to same-sex couples and a Democratic signed a law that required these towns to provide DP benefits, Republicans in Michissippi would be running in circles screaming about small government and local control. And, excuse me, by the state of Michigan passed a law barring local governments and school districts from providing for domestic partner benefits but the state itself still extends those benefits to its employees? I just hate it when hate is inconsistently applied. The ACLU is going to sue. And I'm going to add "David Agema" to my stable of automated Google searches. Fully expect to see David's name on Gay Homophobe before the end of the year or to be reading about his resignation after he pulls an Amy Koch.


Comments (33) RSS

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"...Room mates.."?! These 'room mates' could be devoted spouses if it weren't for xenophobes like him!
Posted by iron-amoeba on December 23, 2011 at 9:48 AM · Report this
Posted by iron-amoeba on December 23, 2011 at 9:49 AM · Report this
seatackled 3
Previewing Washington under Rob McKenna.
Posted by seatackled on December 23, 2011 at 9:51 AM · Report this
this guy I know in Spokane 4
Meanwhile, within my relatively small circle of friends, I know three couples who were perfectly happy living together in sin but got married for health insurance reasons. (None of them are religious, and none of them have/want children, but I'm sure Jesus blesses their unions anyway)
Posted by this guy I know in Spokane on December 23, 2011 at 10:06 AM · Report this
I'm embarrassed to be from the state of Michigan.
Posted by AKTheresa on December 23, 2011 at 10:09 AM · Report this
Ann Arbor is looking into a way around the ban:…

The majority of people in the state do not support this ban. Unfortunately there are also a lot of bigots in the state who do support it, both rural and from shit-hole cities like Grand Rapids and Howell.

Unfortunately a lot of (stupid) moderates got tricked by Snyder in 2010. He ran as a moderate and all the idiots believed him. I just really hope people aren't dumb enough to fall for it again when it comes time to boot his ass out.
Posted by Dave M on December 23, 2011 at 10:18 AM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 7
The people are growing further & further apart from their government here, every day. The bullhorn goes to the loudest.

We have to stay loud, we have to stay informed, we have to stay angry.
Posted by Eva Hopkins on December 23, 2011 at 10:29 AM · Report this
long-time reader 8
"...before the end of the year"? Maybe a bit optimistic. I might buy "before the end of next year". Dirt takes time to dig up.
Posted by long-time reader on December 23, 2011 at 10:36 AM · Report this
Hernandez 9
@3 Oh man, I don't want think about that, but...yeah.
Posted by Hernandez on December 23, 2011 at 10:55 AM · Report this
Danny doesn't care if the law applies to heteros equally.

Because homos are schpeeeshul.

And taxpayers should pay for homos' schpeeeshul relationships.
Posted by $how u$ the Money on December 23, 2011 at 11:05 AM · Report this
Doctor Memory 11
...because clearly what the state of Michigan needs right now, after nearly a decade of double-digit unemployment, is to further convince young, educated people to stay the hell away.

I give it another 2 years before Snyder or some other moron finally inks a deal to cede water rights in the Great Lakes to Arizona and New Mexico (which they've been angling to do for years), and at that point we can just sit back and watch the entire state de-populate.

(And yes, I grew up there. Shit like this is why I'd never consider moving back.)
Posted by Doctor Memory on December 23, 2011 at 11:05 AM · Report this
"The ACLU is going to sue!"

Danny's favorite words.

Danny loves him some buttugly butch ACLU lawyers
with bad haircuts.....

Hey, Danny-
how about an update on the ACLU lawsuit against the school where the poor homosexual cheerleader got suspended for kissing in the hallway.....
Posted by The ACLU is going to sue! pass it on..... on December 23, 2011 at 11:07 AM · Report this
The ACLU is going "SUEY"!

(it's time to feed the staff.....)
Posted by oinkoink on December 23, 2011 at 11:09 AM · Report this
Original Andrew 14
It's not like people need a new reason to leave Michigan--there's been a mass exodus going on for decades. Very sad.
Posted by Original Andrew on December 23, 2011 at 11:41 AM · Report this
Dingo 15
#1/2, he may well be a xenophobe, but his hatred of gays doesn't make him so.
Posted by Dingo on December 23, 2011 at 12:23 PM · Report this
@10, of course it shouldn't
cause heteros are the salt of the earth
but then who's the sugar?
just tell me -- who's the sugar?
without sugar, salt is tasteless
consider that...
And: a merry Hitlermas!
Posted by ankylosaur on December 23, 2011 at 12:48 PM · Report this
Doctor Memory 17
@16: please don't feed the troll. It's much more entertaining when he spins his wheels responding to only himself over and over again.
Posted by Doctor Memory on December 23, 2011 at 12:57 PM · Report this
venomlash 18
@10: Homos' taxes pay for heteros' schpeeeshul relationships. But a permavirgin basement dweller like you wouldn't know, hm?
Posted by venomlash on December 23, 2011 at 1:05 PM · Report this
OuterCow 19
Fuck Synder.
Posted by OuterCow on December 23, 2011 at 2:07 PM · Report this
This is why legalizing gay marriage would preserve the institution of marriage. If employers give benefits to homosexual not-married couples, then they also have to give them to heterosexual not-married couples. This dilutes marriage or at least blurs the line. Second-class marriage is a threat to real marriage. Real marriage itself is not.
Posted by DRF on December 23, 2011 at 2:47 PM · Report this
Wow, this troll is hilarious!
Posted by Mattyx on December 23, 2011 at 2:54 PM · Report this

Since integrity or literacy (I sometimes think the first, sometimes the second...) is a virtue Savage lacks entirely, let's recap the actual article from the Detroit Free Press.

This wasn't aimed at homosexual couples. There's a single unsupported contention to that effect in the article, but the actual ban applies to gay and straight unmarried couples alike.

You don't have a right to health care attached to your job, even if you're a married couple. You certainly don't have any basic right to have your employer provide health care to your boyfriend or girlfriend gay or straight. This would be true if you worked at the local hardware store, for a huge corporation or for the state, local or federal governemnts.

Michigan and every state but New York, California and the other ignorant Eastern state that allow gay unions to be erroneously called marriage all have full marraige equality already. That your feelings are hurt by the societal reaction to your life choices is unfortunate, but hardly the stuff of a civil rights movement.

Mr. Savage, I sincerely hope your maturity this year comes to match your chronological age, or at least equates to a chronological age in double digits. Not everything is an attack on you, or on gays generally. You aren't part of a persecuted minority one step away from concentration camps. You have not one iota less rights than I as a heterosexual citizen have. You can marry, if you engaged in relationships that conceivable could lead to marriage. You can live, work, vacation, eat, play in any place I can. You can engage in a relationship with as many consenting adults as your perversions require, and no one will care or try to stop you.

In fact you have more rights, more protections than I do. If I'm mugged on Capitol Hill (highly unlikely, since I never visit that open air freak show) it's a muggging. If you do it's a hate filled attack on one of the nations special citizens, A GAY MAN!!!! The mugger in my case likely won't serve a day in jail. In yours he might spend a couple years in prison.

Grow up already. Acquire or copy or borrow some basic integrity and honesty. Shed the whiny 'poor, poor little gay ME!!!! rants, and just maybe you might be worth considering taking seriously. Or you could just stick to teaching perverts how to be better perverts and leave politics to people with some basic grip on reality.
Posted by Seattleblues on December 23, 2011 at 3:01 PM · Report this
venomlash 23
@22: Well, you still don't understand how hate crime laws work, that's for damn sure.
If a gay man is mugged, it's just a mugging. If his assailant calls him a "goddamn queer" during the attack, it's also a hate crime. If a straight man is mugged, it's just a mugging. If his assailant calls him a "fucking breeder" during the attack, it's also a hate crime.
You are just as protected as any flaming homosexual. Stop complaining about how Teh Ghey is getting special rights at your expense, you ignorant scrub.
Now, this law would be entirely fair if gays were allowed to marry. (Remember, a tax on yarmulkes is a tax on Jews. Please reason by analogy from that.) Heterosexuals can procure such benefits for their loved ones by tying the knot. Homosexuals do not have that option, as Dan keenly points out.
Finally, you're missing one thing. There was no requirement that civil union partners of government employees be given benefits; individual governmental entities were given free rein to make that decision on their own. This bill explicitly forbids this practice, hamstringing local authorities from managing their workforce.
Posted by venomlash on December 23, 2011 at 6:58 PM · Report this
yucca flower 24
Because Detroit is soo, sooo very attractive that it's over flowing with people and they need to cut down on the jostling hoardes trying to get in. I'm sure those gay people who are probably already rowing north to Canada will never, ever be missed. Nope. I bet not. I mean it's not like those crappy employers had to go out of their way to lure qualified personnel into them in the first place by offering domestic partner bennies. I'm sure this won't cause difficulty with filling those crappy state jobs. Nope. Not at all.
Posted by yucca flower on December 23, 2011 at 10:07 PM · Report this
I know Dave pretty well unfortunately, and I doubt you'll see him on the gay homophobe list. He comes by his homophobia the old fashioned way, by which I mean he is just generally a bigot. Blacks, Asians, Muslims, you name it, I've heard him say something hateful about each, and others besides. Sometimes a bigot is just a bigot.
Posted by thatdude on December 24, 2011 at 2:39 AM · Report this
@venomlash, it's a pleasure to see how easy it is to counter SB's claims. The funny thing in my opinion is that the counter-arguments basically are already known -- you yourself had mentioned them in other answers to SB's posts. Yet somehow the next post manages to ignore them completely, as if nothing had been said and the previous claims had gone unchallenged.

I suppose it's by a commenter's ability to actually acknowledge and think about (and provide an answer to) arguments that they're presented with that one can measure how much they actually want to engage in a debate or exchange of ideas (as opposed to simply making statements of belief or expressing their -- all too often negative -- emotions).
Posted by ankylosaur on December 24, 2011 at 7:31 AM · Report this

"Well, you still don't understand how hate crime laws work, that's for damn sure."

Yes, actually I do. It's very simple. A crime against one man is measured as an outrage, the exact same crime against another as routine. It really isn't that hard to understand.

We either in our society believe that we're all equal citizens- or we don't. If an assault while shouting 'nigger' or 'fag' is to be held to a higher punitive standard the conclusion must be that the liberals who invented hate crimes don't.

Or they believe that what a person thinks should be regulated, but only if it offends the groups liberals like or believe oppressed. After all, that's all a hate crime enhancement does. It says that the crime isn't important, but the fact that it's directed against one of the governments favored groups is.

I'd wager my dog that hate crime conviction held on a person hitting a man while shouting 'cracker'is nonexistent. Unless maybe some liberal attorney brought the thing just to prove a point, but then it would be statistically irrelevant. And I love that dog, so I don't make the wager lightly.

"Now, this law would be entirely fair if gays were allowed to marry."

You really, really have a hard time with understanding this basic fact- gays can marry any time they like. They can't marry other men or other women, true. That's their call. But they can marry under precisely the same rules I could. I couldn't marry a close relative or more than one spouse though both would presumably reflect the consensual nature of the relationship and our desire to do so. Not being from Arkansas or Utah I'm not inclined to, but some people are and we discount that desire for greater social good. I can't marry another man, and neither can a homosexual man. Exact indiscriminate equality under the law. And again, a tiny minority has no faintest right to redefine marriage so that their wittle feewings won't be hurted.

Homosexuals can get insurance for their boyfriends of girlfriends, just as I could have as a single man were I inclined to do so. I could go into the insurance market, comparison shop the products, select one I thought a good value and buy it. With my own money.

"This bill explicitly forbids this practice, hamstringing local authorities from managing their workforce."

What, all of sudden a guy who thinks our federal government should have no limits at all of any kind is bothered by local government having their employment practices regulated by state government? Alrighty then! So, I'd guess you're against minimum wage rules, safe work practice rules, discrimination laws and all the other things that hamstring business by arbitrary dictates from the federal or state governments? No? It's only the federal government that should have absolute power? I'm confused!

It's Christmas Eve, and I have family and friends to spend time with, so wish you all a very Merry Christmas and the best of the new year.
Posted by Seattleblues on December 24, 2011 at 12:02 PM · Report this
venomlash 28
@27: Hate crime laws protect all people equally. ALL PEOPLE. Sure, hate crimes against whites are relatively uncommon. Does that mean we shouldn't have those laws? Just because sexual assaults committed against men are relatively uncommon, should we not have laws against raping women? Here is another case of "well, it doesn't benefit ME PERSONALLY, so it must be unfair" coming out of you.
Yes, all persons can marry someone of the opposite gender. By your logic, a tax on yarmulkes would be fair because everyone, Jewish or Gentile, would be taxed equally. Do you agree with this statement?
Finally, there is a very great difference between mandating that local governments MUST provide certain benefits and mandating that they MAY NOT provide certain benefits. Nice false equivalency you have there.
Posted by venomlash on December 24, 2011 at 12:28 PM · Report this
@27, @28, here is another parallel. Suppose only gay marriage were legal, and heterosexual marriage were illegal. In such a situation, Seattleblues (or its evil twin) could make the same argument: everybody has the same right -- to marry a person of the same sex -- so nobody is being oppressed.

Now, would Seattleblues feel comfortable in this situation? Would he say that any heterosexuals who say they want to legally marry people of the opposite sex are just trying to get 'special rights' for their own sexual orientation?

No, I think Seattelblues wouldn't. If he were in this situation, similar to the one gays are in our world, he would denounce it, and fight against it -- and rightfully so.
Posted by ankylosaur on December 24, 2011 at 2:19 PM · Report this
venomlash 30
@29: I asked him that several times. When I finally badgered him into answering the goddamn question, he announced that it would be fair in a world in which ~95% were gay.
I pointed out that the proportions of gay and straight people are irrelevant. He did not deign to respond to this glaring hole in his argument.
Posted by venomlash on December 24, 2011 at 4:43 PM · Report this
@24, I hate to pick nits, but the quickest way into Canada from Detroit is to go _south_ across the Detroit River.

@22, Being gay is not a lifestyle choice, but an immutable fact of one's existence.
Posted by brendan on December 25, 2011 at 3:22 AM · Report this
Another embarrassed Michigander here. I'm living in another state now, and this information makes me feel better about that choice.

Anyway: I find this part very telling:

"Snyder said the prohibition will not apply to employees of the state public universities or to state government employees."

because one of the big criticisms of this was that U of M and MSU would lose a bunch of their best professors who happened to be gay/bi and in same-sex relationships, and particularly that it would hurt U of M's excellent queer studies program. So they did listen to some of their criticism, but clearly not enough of it.
Posted by Whoop Di Doo on December 26, 2011 at 12:16 AM · Report this
Also @ 31 - yep, one of the big jokes we used to make about living in southeast Michigan was that we "lived north of Canada."
Posted by Whoop Di Doo on December 26, 2011 at 12:17 AM · Report this

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