Winning, losing

Resolution passed by the AFT Executive Board this week:
Whereas, the American Federation of Teachers has stated, "as trade unionists, we believe that our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender brothers and sisters unequivocally deserve the same protections and beneits as their brothers and sisters"; and

Whereas, the American Federation of Teachers "calls for programs to increase access to quality healthcare for all Americans, while pledging to fight programs that would decrease or deny such access based on age, sex, race, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression":

RESOLVED, that the AFT call on its members to fight existing barriers and discriminatory practices and ensure access to healthcare services, including fighting for transgender-inclusive healthcare and insurance policies covering all medically necessary transgender transition services and procedures.

Newspaper article from today:
Public universities and state and local governments can't provide health insurance to the partners of gay employees without violating the state constitution, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Friday.

A three-judge panel said a 2004 voter-approved ban on gay marriage also applies to same-sex domestic partner benefits.

``The marriage amendment's plain language prohibits public employers from recognizing same-sex unions for any purpose,'' the court wrote.

The decision reverses a 2005 ruling from a county judge who said universities and government agencies could provide the benefits. |Associated Press|

Addendum: The bright side of the Court of Appeals ruling, such as it is, is that this result will probably tend to worsen the outlook for anti-gay marriage amendments in other states, since the policy mix supported by the majority of Americans would ban gay marriage but allow gay couples access to marriage-like legal protections. This ruling shows that you can't split the baby.

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