Cox appeal of "gay" benefits ruling praised

Family group praises Cox appeal of court ruling on homosexual benefits

LANSING — A statewide family values group Saturday praised Attorney General Mike Cox’s decision to appeal a circuit court ruling that a voter-approved Marriage Protection Amendment to Michigan’s state constitution does not prevent state and local governments from forcing taxpayers to pay for providing spousal benefits to the partners of public employees involved in homosexual relationships.

A spokesman for the Attorney General’s office Friday announced Cox’s intention to appeal the decision handed down Tuesday by Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce Draganchuk, the Detroit Free Press reported Saturday.

American Family Association of Michigan President Gary Glenn, who first proposed and co-authored the amendment overwhelmingly approved last November by Michigan voters, predicted that the state Supreme Court will agree with Cox and amendment backers that the measure does prohibit government employers from recognizing homosexual relationships as equal or similar to marriage for the purpose of providing employment benefits.

“On behalf of most Michigan families and voters, we are deeply grateful to Attorney General Cox for his faithfulness in representing the will of the people of Michigan and helping preserve the institution of one-man, one-woman marriage for future generations of children,” Glenn said. “We thank Attorney General Cox for his commitment to fully enforce our state constitution and prevent government from using our tax dollars to recognize and treat homosexual relationships as if they’re equal or similar to marriage, and we’re confident that in the end, the state Supreme Court will do just that.”

Glenn said of Cox: “A man who served our country as a United States Marine is obviously not intimidated by the shrill coalition of politicians, union officials, editorial writers and homosexual activists who demand that Michigan taxpayers be forced to financially subsidize the lifestyle choices of a tiny special interest group. Taxpayers should not be forced to provide special recognition and benefits to a tiny group of two or three hundred government employees who engage in homosexual behavior, when such benefits are not universally available to all public employees.”

Glenn said Tuesday’s ruling by Ingham County Circuit Judge Joyce Draganchuk was no surprise, citing two homosexual activist political action committees’ endorsement of her 2004 candidacy for the court.

“Given homosexual activists’ endorsement of her political campaign, the only surprise would be if Judge Draganchuk had not ruled in their favor,” he said.

* Draganchuk received a “very positive” rating from the Lansing Association for Human Rights Political Action Committee after returning the homosexual activist group’s candidate questionnaire during the 2004 election.

* She was also endorsed by Triangle Pride PAC, a homosexual activist group headquartered in Detroit.

Glenn said pre-election polling last fall during debate over the Marriage Protection Amendment — which appeared on the November ballot as Proposal 2 — revealed that voter support for the amendment closely matched even greater opposition to taxpayer-financed same-sex benefits for government employees.

The Detroit Free Press reported October 2, 2004: “In the poll of 830 registered voters conducted Sept. 22-28, support for Proposal 2 was at 53 percent, with 40 percent opposed and 6 percent undecided. …Even more (54 percent) say local governments and universities should not provide benefits, such as health and life insurance, to the partners of gay and lesbian employees.”

Glenn himself was praised by the campaign committee that opposed Proposal 2 for clearly stating prior to the election that the amendment would, and was intended to, prohibit such benefits for public employees if they were based on formally recognizing homosexual relationships as being equal or similar to marriage.

That campaign committee issued a news release which stated: “The Coalition for a Fair Michigan said today that they were happy to find common ground with the Michigan affiliate of the American Family Association, one of the lead proponents of the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban legal recognition of any relationships other than opposite-sex marriage. Last night…both sides agreed that the amendment would go much further than defining marriage by also eliminating any government-sanctioned domestic partnership benefits. ‘I’m glad we could find common ground with the AFA, and I want to thank Gary Glenn for his willingness to be upfront on this point,’ said Wendy Howell, Campaign Manager for CFM.”

Based on an interview with Glenn, the Detroit Free Press also reported prior to the election: “Proponents and opponents of the amendment say (employee benefits accorded to domestic partners and their dependents by some municipalities and public universities) would be prohibited to the extent they mimic benefits for married employees.”

The language of the amendment reads as follows: “To secure and preserve the benefits of marriage for our society and for future generations of children, the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose.â€?

“‘For any purpose’ means just that,” Glenn said, “including the purpose of forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for giving spousal-type benefits to government employees involved in homosexual relationships, based on recognizing those relationships as if they’re equal or similar to marriage.”

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