A federal judge on Friday struck down a Michigan law that barred same-sex domestic partners of public employees from receiving benefits, mlive.com reported.
Five same-sex couples represented by the ACLU of Michigan filed a complaint against Gov. Rick Snyder (R) and the state in 2011, claiming that their equal protection rights and due process were violated by the law. Public Act 297 prohibits public employers, such as cities and counties, from extending benefits to same-sex domestic partners.
U.S. District Judge David S. Lawson determined Friday, just days after the Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional, that the law did indeed violate the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Lawson granted an injunction against enforcement of the act until a final ruling is made on the law's constitutionality.
"This law served no purpose to the state of Michigan other than to needlessly discriminate against hard-working families," Kary L. Moss, the executive director of the ACLU of Michigan, said in a press release. "It's hard to encourage talented people and their families to work for public employers in Michigan when they're denied the ability to take care of each other."
Under the injunction, public employers are not required to offer benefits to same-sex domestic partners.