|To AFA-Michigan supporters…
This letter from American Family Association of Indiana is so good on several points that I want to share it with you. Thanks as always for your support!
Dozens of Congressmen
This week, 41 members of Congress signed on to a federal appeals court brief that defends Indiana state law preventing Hoosier tax dollars from going to subsidize the abortion industry.
The friend of the court brief from the American Center for Law and Justice follows an earlier brief from the Thomas Moore Law Center in which 60 state legislators signed on to defend the new law. The legal briefs are part of the stateâ€™s appeal of a lower court ruling by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, which put the new law on hold and restored tax funding to Planned Parenthood.
The ACLJ brief argues for Indianaâ€™s right to set parameters for Medicaid recipients. They note, â€œFederal Medicaid statutes and regulations give States broad discretion to craft the rules applicable to their Medicaid programs. Congress left intact the Statesâ€™ authority to determine what makes an entity qualified to provide Medicaid services, 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1396a(p)(1), while ensuring that Medicaid recipients may utilize any practitioner deemed to be qualified under State law, 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1396a(a)(23). Since HEA 1210 does not limit a beneficiaryâ€™s ability to choose among providers that are deemed to be qualified, it is consistent with federal Medicaid law.â€
This stateâ€™s rights argument has been mentioned in many news reports. Perhaps more interesting is another argument in the ACLJ brief that urges the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals to overturn the lower court decision. It attacks Planned Parenthood and the ACLUâ€™s â€œnovel claim that abortion providers have a constitutional right to perform abortions and receive public funds; if accepted, this argument would unduly restrict the policy discretion that Congress and state and local governments have to decide how to spend public funds.â€ Calling the abortion industryâ€™s audacious claim to a constitutional right to our tax dollars â€œnovelâ€ is kind to say the least.
The ACLJ brief is signed by the following members of the U.S. House of Representatives:
The Term â€œPro-Choiceâ€ May
Speaking of abortion, a new poll from Gallup has some very interesting findings. The proponents of abortion often claim that most Americans are â€œpro-choiceâ€ when it comes to abortion. There are recent surveys challenging this assertion in terms of the self-identification between being pro-life or pro-choice. Even if most Americans are â€œpro-choice,â€ it probably doesnâ€™t mean what you think or what abortion advocates imply.
The Gallup survey of â€œpro-choiceâ€ Americans actually finds that most of these people agree with pro-life Americans on nine significant areas. For example, 86% of â€œpro-choiceâ€ individuals favor informed consent legislation which gives women information about abortion and alternatives beforehand. Two-thirds (63%) of â€œpro-choiceâ€ Americans favor banning the grisly partial birth abortion procedure. Sixty-percent support parental consent laws for minors seeking an abortion. Half (52%) of â€œpro-choiceâ€ Americans want abortions to be made illegal after the second trimester and 79% want third trimester abortions outlawed. One major difference is that most (64%) â€œpro-choiceâ€ Americans support abortion as a means of birth control in the first trimester.
As noted in previous surveys, Gallup has also reconfirmed that those who attend regular religious services (â€œchurchgoersâ€) are twice as likely to be pro-life compared to those who rarely or never attend church services.
The Tail Wagging the Dog
I had a media interview late last week in regard to new US Census Bureau data showing numbers homosexual households in Indiana. When asked if I was surprised at the numbers, I said yes, not at their large size, but at how that minority are given the disproportional political and cultural influence homosexuals wield.
I have similar numbers from the year prior to those the reporter cited, and they are revealing. (Keep in mind that a recent Gallup poll found that a majority of Americans mistakenly believe that 25% of the US population is homosexual or bi-sexual. In reality that number is less than 3%.)
In Indiana, based upon Census Bureau data released in April 2010, there were only 10,200 same-sex couples living together in Indiana. Contrast this with 1,251,500 married Hoosier couples and same-sex couples account for just three-tenths of one percent of the household population in Indiana. In state after state, this percentage is nearly the same. Nationally the percentage of same-sex couples compared to married households is only 0.4%.
Some would argue that if homosexuals currently living together and therefore most likely to marry are so few, what is the harm of un-defining marriage. (For all of their claims of needing to redefine marriage when given the chance to â€œmarryâ€ in Europe or in states like Massachusetts, relatively few homosexuals actually do so. Most reject marriage, raising questions about their claims of disadvantage, denied rights, property sharing difficulties and marriage inequality.)
The real question is if the numbers are so small, why disrupt society by further devaluing marriage, rewriting school curricula, limiting religious speech, closing faith-based charities and other problems associated with same-sex marriage just to appease a very vocal, yet small 0.3% of cohabiting population? What of other behaviors and lifestyle choices? Must marriage be redefined to accommodate them too?
Given the societal importance of marriage and the traditional family, discarding the logical time-tested boundaries of marriage to appease a vocal, and tiny special interest group when poll after poll shows most Americans want marriage to remain as it always has been truly is a radical notion.
One Reason Why the Tail
In light of the data above, a logical question one may ask is why is American culture so pro-gay and morally decadent in virtually every way imaginable? May I suggest that the one-in-four of Americans who identify themselves as evangelical Christians are not following the Biblical directive to be â€œsalt and light.â€ A staggering majority, betwene 76% and 78%, of Americans still identify themselves a Christians.
Why, given such large demographic numbers, is the culture so hostile to basic traditional values, parents, children, faith, etc? There are several reasons for this problem. One of them was found in a survey of pastors from Your Church Magazine that I mentioned in a recent weekly AFA-IN e-mail. The survey found that more than half of the ministers (55%) surveyed admitted that they would not preach at all or only sparingly on certain subjects. Nearly four-in-ten (38%) listed politics as the top subject they would avoid. One-in-four said that they would not mention homosexuality. When it came to the issue of abortion, 18% said that they would not mention this subject from the pulpit. Nearly one-in-ten said that they would not mention the subject or doctrine of Hell.
It is not as though God does not have things to say about these subjects and the issues of the day as revealed in His Word. The primary reason cited for avoiding certain subjects was that it might negatively impact church attendance. Yet, if the pulpits of our nation are silent on the issues its congregants confront daily in news headlines and the culture, how can we expect folks to live counter-culturally rather than mirroring everything around them?
(By the way, I am very excited about a new book coming out in a few weeks from Hoosier talk show host, Peter Heck, precisely about this issue of being salt and light in the world and taking back the culture. You can learn more about his book here: http://www.peterheck.com/78)
The church serves a role as the conscience of a nation, and unlike most government programs, faith changes lives from the inside out. Still, cultural change does not rest solely at the feet of the church. This is where groups like AFA of Indiana play a vital part. Your financial and prayer support of AFA-IN is always welcome and helpful. If you would like to stand with us, you can make a tax-deductible donation online or mail one to us at: PO Box 40307, Indianapolis, IN 46240.
|“Being the ‘best and brightest’ is not defined by engaging in homosexual behavior, specifically because it’s not bright to engage in behavior medically associated with dramatically increased personal health risks,” (Christian rights activist Gary) Glenn alleged. People who are gay or lesbian are at ‘dramatically higher risk of mental illness and substance abuse and AIDS and cancer and hepatitis,’ he said during his radio interview about gay marriage with Linda Harvey of Mission America on July 2.
Glenn’s comments were targeted at office-furniture maker Herman Miller and other Holland-area companies that have said the City Council’s vote against expanding its anti-discrimination ordinance to include sexual orientation will hurt their efforts to recruit and retain the most talented employees.
‘What ridiculous folly to suggest that only those individuals who engage in homosexual behavior — given all of its severe medical consequences — constitute the best and the brightest,’ Glenn said. …’My point was to mock the suggestion that engaging in homosexual behavior defines a potential job applicant as the ‘best and brightest,’ he said.”
GRAND RAPIDS PRESS
Conservative Christian activist Gary Glenn says gay
by Shandra Martinez / The Grand Rapids Press
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Christian rights activist Gary Glenn says he wants to set the record straight after his comments about gay employees during a conservative radio show were picked up by liberal media outlets.
He didn’t say gay workers shouldn’t be hired but rather suggested they are not the “best and brightest” employees.
“Being the ‘best and brightest’ is not defined by engaging in homosexual behavior, specifically because it’s not bright to engage in behavior medically associated with dramatically increased personal health risks,” Glenn alleged.
People who are gay or lesbian are at â€œdramatically higher risk of mental illness and substance abuse and AIDS and cancer and hepatitis,â€ he said during his radio interview about gay marriage with Linda Harvey of “Mission America” on July 2.
Glenn’s comments were targeted at office-furniture maker Herman Miller and other Holland-area companies that have said the City Council’s vote against expanding its anti-discriminatory ordinance to include sexual orientation will hurt their efforts to recruit and retain the most talented employees.
â€œWhat ridiculous folly to suggest that only those individuals who engage in homosexual behavior given all of its severe medical consequences constitute the best and the brightest,” Glenn said.
While Glenn didn’t say gays shouldn’t be hired, Harvey did during the interview: â€œI would not think of a homosexual person as a good employment risk, I just wouldnâ€™t.â€
So why do the comments of Glenn, who lives in Midland, matter in Holland?
Glenn is offering to fund the campaigns of candidates running against City Council members who voted in favor of expanding the ordinance. Glenn is quick to point out that effort is done under his role as chairman of the Campaign for Michigan Families, a political action committee.
â€œMy point was to mock the suggestion that engaging in homosexual behavior defines a potential job applicant as the ‘best and brightest,’â€ he said.
Those who support expanding the ordinance are focusing their efforts on trying to convince one of the five council members who voted against it to change his or her vote rather than trying to put the issue on the ballot.
Glenn says his and Harvey’s comments were edited and don’t include the sources he says that back up his contention that gay employees have more health issues than heterosexual employees.
“We are not talking abut a matter of opinions but scientific facts from mainstream organizations, the Center for Disease Control and by openly homosexual organizations,â€ said Glenn. â€œThese facts are not in dispute.â€
|What is referenced in this story as a “radio commercial” is in fact our AFA-Michigan News Minute, a daily audio news feed we provide to Christian and other radio stations across the state, which air them free of charge. The “news minute” addressing Gov. Snyder and the Right to Work issue, illustrated by the campaign for Michigan’s Marriage Protection Amendment, is attached.
“(Gov. Rick Snyder, R-Michigan) told everyone he was all about getting a new budget and business tax in place and would not be diverted by ‘other’ issues. Well the budget is in place, as is the business tax, and here comes Gary Glenn of the American Family Association of Michigan. Letâ€™s just say Mr. G.G. is not a liberal…not by any stretch. And heâ€™s got an agenda as long as your arm of 15 issues that he wants the governor and GOP legislature to tackle.
…Mr. Glenn even launched some radio commercials sticking the Right to Work issue right in the governorâ€™s relentless positive action face. Recall Mr. Snyder thinks Right to Work is divisive and would pit business against labor in what could well be a nasty political bloodbath. Mr. Glenn and company appear to be saying, bring on the blood.”
FOX 2 DETROIT
Gary Glenn’s agenda for Rick Snyder
by Tim Skubick / FOX 2 Political Consultant
LANSING — Oh my, this could get mucho messy.
The ultra-conservative wing of the state GOP has been patiently marking time since January when the Rick Snyder juggernaut rolled into town.
The new governor told everyone he was all about getting a new budget and business tax in place and would not be diverted by â€œotherâ€ issues.
Well the budget is in place, as is the business tax, and here comes Gary Glenn of the American Family Association of Michigan. Letâ€™s just say Mr. G.G. is not a liberal…not by any stretch.
And heâ€™s got an agenda as long as your arm of 15 issues that he wants the governor and GOP legislature to tackle.
Try this on for size:
(1) prohibit state funding of any sex changes for prison inmates.
(2) prohibit use of classroom dollars to â€œpromote any form of sexual activity outside of marriage.”
(3) Halt any show of nudity during â€œdrama productionsâ€ at state universities.
(4) Cut off support to Planned Parenthood
(5) Make sure homosexual couples canâ€™t adopt children.
One could go on to list the other 10, but you generally get the idea here, right? By the way, none of those items were in the Snyder campaign blueprint to reinvent Michigan.
Obviously, thereâ€™s been a pent up demand to address some of those social wedge issues which the current governor has demonstrated little stomach to stomach.
Mr. Glenn even launched some radio commercials sticking the Right to Work issue right in the governorâ€™s relentless positive action face. Recall Mr. Snyder thinks Right to Work is divisive and would pit business against labor in what could well be a nasty political bloodbath.
Mr. Glenn and company appear to be saying, bring on the blood.
Wonder what blood-type the governor is?
|“Recruiting children? You bet we are. Why would we push anti-bullying programs or social studies classes that teach kids about the historical contributions of famous queers unless we wanted to deliberately educate children to accept queer sexuality as normal?”
Queerty columnist openly admits that so-called anti-bullying bills are a Trojan Horse propaganda ploy by which to promote homosexual behavior as safe and normal in our public schools.
In fact, medical research indicates that such behavior is a severe threat to both personal and public health, associated with a dramatically higher incidence of mental illness, eating disorders, substance abuse, syphilis and other STDs, serious life-threatening diseases such as cancer, hepatitis, and AIDS, and premature death by up to 20 years.
Homosexual columnist writes:
“We want educators to teach future generations of children to accept queer sexuality. …The younger generation doesnâ€™t fear homosexuality as much because theyâ€™re exposed to fags on TV, online, and at school. And I donâ€™t know a single lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender person who wants that to stop.
I for one certainly want tons of school children to learn that itâ€™s OK to be gay, that people of the same sex should be allowed to legally marry each other, and that anyone can kiss a person of the same sex without feeling like a freak.
…I and a lot of other people want to indoctrinate, recruit, teach, and expose children to queer sexuality and there’s nothing wrong with that.
…(W)e do our opponents an even greater service when we trip all over ourselves promising not to mention queers in front of the kids when in fact weâ€™d love to. And because we hide from this very basic fact and treat it like something to be ashamed of, we end up with watered-down unemotional pleas for equality…
How about this? How about we accept that we want kids to think better about queers… That would at least be honest.”
|Who demonstrates more authentic Christian compassion for individuals ensnared in the homosexual lifestyle?
Those who warn its practitioners about the obvious hazard to their spiritual health and the voluminously documented threat to their physical, mental, and emotional health?
Or activist organizations and politicians — such as the city councils right now in Traverse City and Holland — who demand laws expressly giving special protection to homosexual behavior and want our children taught at school that it’s normal and healthy?
“Gay men in California are nearly twice as likely to report a cancer diagnosis as straight men in the state, according to new research published online Monday in the medical journal Cancer. …The results show about 8% of gay men had experienced a cancer diagnosis, compared with only about 5% of straight men.
…Researchers speculate the increased cancer prevalence among gay men is associated with HIV status…,” said study author Ulrike Boehmer, an associate professor at Boston University School of Public Health.
Anal cancer, lung cancer, testicular cancer and Hodgkin’s lymphoma are more prevalent among men who are HIV positive, Boehmer said. The study found gay men were also more likely to get cancer at a younger age than straight men â€“ almost 10 years sooner â€“ at the age of 41, on average.”
More cancer among gay men, California study finds
Gay men in California are nearly twice as likely to report a cancer diagnosis as straight men in the state, according to new research published online Monday in the medical journal Cancer.
Few cancer studies investigate how sexual orientation might affect cancer risk and survivorship, often because study participants are not asked about their sexual orientation. In Monday’s study, researchers used a large health survey conducted by the state of California – in which respondents were asked about their orientation – to examine the impact cancer may be having on gays and lesbians in the state.
The results show about 8% of gay men had experienced a cancer diagnosis, compared with only about 5% of straight men. Among straight women and lesbians, the cancer prevalence trends were more closely matched.
Researchers speculate the increased cancer prevalence among gay men is associated with HIV status.
“There’s a higher prevalence of HIV positive men in the gay population, and we know that being HIV positive is related to cancers, so this might drive the differences we found,” said study author Ulrike Boehmer, an associate professor at Boston University School of Public Health.
Anal cancer, lung cancer, testicular cancer and Hodgkin’s lymphoma are more prevalent among men who are HIV positive, Boehmer said.
The study found gay men were also more likely to get cancer at a younger age than straight men â€“ almost 10 years sooner â€“ at the age of 41, on average.
Boehmer’s findings show cancer may be having a different impact on lesbians.
“Those with cancer are twice a likely to report that they are in fair or poor health,” she said, as compared with straight female survivors.
Why lesbian cancer survivors may perceive their health to be so poor is uncertain. Boehmer hopes her findings will help lead to more targeted cancer intervention programs to help lesbian cancer survivors overcome their health problems, as well as more targeted cancer prevention programs for gay men.
|If you haven’t already, please e-mail Attorney General Schuette to thank him for taking action to protect taxpayers from being forced by a rogue state agency to subsidize homosexual activity by state employees or the absurd arrangement accurately described by this editorial.
And while you’re at it, let the the Citizen Patriot know you agree with their editorial.
“In 2004, state employee unions bargained for same-sex partner benefits for their members. That was before voters that year approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The state Civil Service Commission got around that obstacle by applying state benefits not just to homosexual partners, but to any adult who lives with a state employee. The friend who rents a room, then, could qualify.
The governorâ€™s administration predicts domestic benefits will cost the state $8 million a year, so thereâ€™s a financial worry. Also, this commissionâ€™s ruling circumvents the law. Like it or not, voters said they did not support gay marriage or partner benefits. The state is obligated to carry out that mandate.”
THE CITIZEN PATRIOT
Attorney general Bill Schuette right to challenge
If you work for the state of Michigan and are looking for a few dollars, have we got a money-making idea for you!
Get a roommate, wait for a year, then offer to sell him or her health insurance. Whatâ€™s a fair rate: $250 a month? $500? $1,000?
Oh, donâ€™t worry, you donâ€™t have to provide the health coverage. The state of Michigan will pick up the tab. Thanks, taxpayers!
Anyone who can appreciate the absurdity of this arrangement should be cheering on Bill Schuette. Michiganâ€™s attorney general went to court last week to overturn a requirement that government has to cover domestic benefits for state workers.
A little history: In 2004, state employee unions bargained for same-sex partner benefits for their members. That was before voters that year approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
The state Civil Service Commission got around that obstacle by applying state benefits not just to homosexual partners, but to any adult who lives with a state employee. The friend who rents a room, then, could qualify.
Lawmakers failed to overturn this ruling because they could not get the two-thirds majority they needed by law.
Opponents argued that the state should protect gay rights. Unfortunately, that is not the issue. The governorâ€™s administration predicts domestic benefits will cost the state $8 million a year, so thereâ€™s a financial worry. Also, this commissionâ€™s ruling circumvents the law. Like it or not, voters said they did not support gay marriage or partner benefits. The state is obligated to carry out that mandate.
The law is the law. Thatâ€™s why the attorney general has to stand up for it.
|Our thanks again to Attorney General Bill Schuette, now being criticized by homosexual activists unhappy with his lawsuit to protect taxpayers from being forced to subsidize homosexual activity by state employees.
And our thanks to Rep. Dave Agema, also criticized in this article for his higher education budget amendment to reduce taxpayer funding of state universities that use public funds to subsidize homosexual activity among university employees.
|According to the homosexual activist newspaper in Detroit, “64 percent of the male infections are in men who have sex with men. Men who are infected with HIV and are on therapy, constitute a significant portion of those infections – historically about half in some cities.”
Now do the math. Men who engage in homosexual behavior comprise about 2 percent of the male population in the U.S., but were responsible for 64 percent of male syphilis cases reported.
And the rational response of some politicians is to pass laws giving special “protected class” status to individuals who engage in such behavior and thus pose a serious threat not only to their own health, but to public health, driving up the cost to taxpayers of both healthcare and government spending on public health and social programs.
Traverse City politicians did so late last year, and the Holland City Council plans to take up a “gay right” ordinance in the immediate future.
|“AFA President Gary Glenn told WOOD Radio ‘we don’t think taxpayers should be forced to subsidize homosexual relationships among state employees in any economy, but when we’re in the red ink situation we are in now, it’s unconscionable.'”
AFA cheers AG’s suit regarding benefits
Civil Service Commission okayed health coverage for partners of state workers and
by John C. Smith, WOOD Radio News Team
The American Family Association of Michigan was quick to voice support Friday for Michigan’s Attorney General. Bill Schuette’s office filed a lawsuit seeking to block implementation of state health benefits for domestic partners of government employees.
AFA President Gary Glenn told WOOD Radio “we don’t think taxpayers should be forced to subsidize homosexual relationships among state employees in any economy, but when we’re in the red ink situation we are in now, it’s unconscionable.”
The benefits are scheduled to begin October 1st, for those who are represented by the United Auto Workers and the Service Employees International Union.
The state legislature had tried to reverse the Civil Service Commission decision but could not produce the two-thirds majority in the House. “We believe Attorney General Schuette and the legislature were simply acting in concert with the will of the people on this question,” Glenn said.
Schuette said the commission’s action overstepped its constitutional authority.
|Please take a minute right now to e-mail Attorney General Bill Schuette and simply THANK him for taking this strong decisive action to stop a rogue state agency from forcing Michigan taxpayers to subsidize homosexual activity among state employees!
Family group applauds Schuette lawsuit to block taxpayer subsidy of state employees’ homosexual relationships
Calls on lawmakers to limit spousal-type benefits only to married employees, as Schuette bill attempted in 1998
LANSING, Mich. — In the face of an impending $1.8 billion deficit in the state budget, a statewide family values Friday applauded Attorney General Bill Schuette’s announced lawsuit to “protect taxpayers from being forced by the Michigan Civil Service Commission to fund yet another multi-million dollar expansion of employment benefits for government employees, the most recent driven by an obviously ideological fixation, no matter how much it costs, on forcing taxpayers to subsidize homosexual relationships that many taxpayers consider immoral and characterized by behavior that threatens both personal and public health.”
Gary Glenn, Midland, president of the American Family Association of Michigan and one of two co-authors of the Marriage Protection Amendment approved by voters in 2004, said:
“On behalf of the overwhelming majority of voters who approved Michigan’s Marriage Protection Amendment, we salute Attorney General Schuette for taking strong, decisive action to prevent a rogue state agency from recognizing and treating homosexual activity among government employees as something equal or similar to marriage. Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize government employees’ homosexual relationships under any circumstance, but at a time when the state is facing a nearly two-billion dollar deficit, forcing taxpayers to spend an additional $11 million dollars to do so is particularly unconscionable.”
“When our state is already drowning in red ink, forcing taxpayers to fund new benefits for any new group of beneficiaries — but especially a group medically proven to be at severely elevated risk of substance abuse and expensive life-threatening diseases such as AIDS, cancer, and hepatitis — is all the more unthinkable and will further increase both the state budget deficit and the cost of health care.”
He pointed to a national homosexual activist group’s embarrassing experience with the cost of its own same-sex benefits plan. According to the Washington Blade, a “gay” advocacy newspaper in the nation’s capital, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force — which is critical of employers who cite cost in refusing to offer same-sex benefits — was forced in 2003 to cut back its own same-sex benefits plan, calling it “prohibitively expensive” and unsustainable. http://www.cnsnews.com/node/5503
“When the NGLTF’s unionized staff threatened to go public with a dispute over domestic partner benefits,” the Blade reported, “(executive director Lorri) Jean called for dropping a longstanding NGLTF policy of paying 100 percent of the health insurance premium for staff members’ domestic partners, saying the benefit was prohibitively expensive…(and)…a 100 percent benefit plan for domestic partners could not be sustained, Jean said, at a time when the group had a $500,000 debt.” (Washington Blade, March 7, 2003)
Glenn, one of two co-authors of the Marriage Protection Amendment overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2004, said that because of the scientifically proven social, financial, and health benefits of marriage between a man and a woman, the state should statutorily restrict spousal-type state employment benefits exclusively to married employees as an incentive to marry.
“Every study ever done proves that traditional marriage results in increased health and financial security for both men and women, and that their children are healthier, do better in school, and are less likely as teens to use drugs, get pregnant, or commit juvenile crime, all of which reduces the cost to taxpayers for law enforcement, social welfare, and other government programs,” Glenn said.
“Getting married is also the single biggest factor in avoiding or escaping poverty,” Glenn said, citing a study published five months ago by the Heritage Foundation which found that in Michigan, children of single mothers are more than six times more likely to live in poverty than children of married parents. http://www.heritage.org/Multimedia/InfoGraphic/2010/Marriage-Poverty-Charts/Marriage-and-Poverty-in-Michigan
“Rather than force taxpayers to subsidize unmarried relationships, Michigan should as a matter of fiscal policy alone reduce the size and expense of government by doing everything possible to encourage and incentivize traditional marriage,” he said. “That includes saving money by restricting tax-funded employment benefits exclusively to state employees who are married, specifically to reward and encourage employees to get married and stay married.”
“More marriage means less government, less government spending, and less of a burden on taxpayers,” he said.
Glenn noted that a pre-election poll by the Detroit Free Press in 2004 found that a larger percentage of the state’s population opposed tax-financed same-sex benefits for government employees than supported the amendment itself, which ended up passing with nearly 60 percent of the vote. (“Gay marriage ban headed for passage,” Detroit Free Press, Oct. 2, 2004)
Glenn said that the Civil Service Commission’s approved benefits plan, by drawing the eligibility requirements for such benefits so narrowly — with the express purpose being to cover the homosexual partners of state employees, advocates of the policy said, while excluding family members such as parents and siblings — the commission’s plan may have granted legal recognition of unmarried homosexual and heterosexual relationships as being “similar to” marriage, a step the state Supreme Court ruled in 2008 is prohibited by the amendment. Attesting to its agreement with Glenn’s views as a co-author as to the amendment’s intent, the court quoted or cited AFA-Michigan’s legal brief on the issue three times in its decision in Pride at Work (AFL-CIO) v. Granholm.
“As we made clear in public statements as far back as the ballot campaign for the amendment in 2004, we believe an unrestricted benefits policy that allows a state employee to cover anyone he chooses, including family members such as parents, siblings, or grandparents, probably would be constitutional since it obviously would not be based on treating the employee’s relationship as similar to a marriage,” he said. “But that’s not what the Civil Service Commission did.”
But there’s a big distinction between the question of constitutionality and whether such a plan is good public policy, Glenn said. AFA-Michigan would oppose such an unrestricted plan, even if constitutional, because it would increase the tax burden on Michigan families even more than the Civil Service Commission’s plan. Attorneys for the University of Michigan agreed in the Pride at Work case, arguing in court that because of the cost, the university should not be compelled to broadly offer benefits to any individual an employee chooses in order to be allowed to continue covering employees’ homosexual partners.
* Even if a court finds that the Civil Service Commission plan is allowed under the Marriage Protection Amendment, that doesn’t mean the state constitution requires such benefits be offered, Glenn said. Ideally, the state should instead enact legislation such as that Schuette himself introduced over a decade ago as a member of the state Senate, restricting taxpayer-financed state employment benefits only to the spouses of married employees, with the obvious effect of statutorily prohibiting the commission’s unmarried partner benefits plan in future collective bargaining agreements with state employees. Schuette’s legislation passed the Senate in 1998 but was not brought up for consideration by the House.
Metro Times, a Detroit newsweekly, reported in 1999: “State Sen. Bill Schuette, R-Midland, is pushing legislation prohibiting employees of state-funded entities from receiving domestic partner benefits. That legislation evolved from an earlier Schuette effort to target the extension of such benefits at Wayne State University, the University of Michigan and other institutions. The attorney general ruled that public colleges and universities could be barred from extending the benefits only if there was a law against it for all employees of entities receiving state funds. …Ginotti says the senator wants to stop the use of taxes to support benefits for unmarried partners because their bond isnâ€™t legally recognized.” http://www2.metrotimes.com/news/story.asp?id=10989
The Post newspaper at Ohio University reported in 1997: “When Michigan State University became the third Michigan university in September — preceded by Wayne State University and the University of Michigan — to grant such benefits, backlash arose from a state senator. Although the decision was supported by the MSU Board of Trustees after more than two years of research and debate, state Sen. Bill Schuette, R-Midland, created a plan to penalize universities for funding benefits to partners of gay and lesbian faculty and staff by not permitting them to use state money to pay for the benefits, according to the MSU State News. Phil Ginotte, Schuette’s spokesman, said the trustees made an unwise decision — ‘a mistake’ that will ‘resonate through the state,’ according to the Sept. 15 issue of the MSU State News.” (Oct. 27, 1997) http://www.thepost.ohiou.edu/archives/102797/partners.html
Glenn also dismissed arguments by homosexual activist groups and their political allies that the state must subsidize the homosexual and other unmarried partners of state employees in order to be competitive in hiring.
“Homosexual behavior is not a requirement or indicator of being among the best and brightest. The severe public health consequences alone prove that engaging in such behavior is neither the best or brightest decision, and taxpayers certainly shouldn’t be forced to pay for the medical consequences of such behavior.”