UM says domestic partner benefits keep top talent in state

Nov 14, 2011

University of Michigan officials have sent a letter to all 38 Michigan state senators, asking them to vote “no” on a bill that would ban domestic partner benefits. 

Before Michigan voters approved a law that banned same-gender marriage, the University of Michigan and several other public universities in the state offered benefits to the same-sex partners of employees and their children. 

The language was later reworked to remove specific references to same-sex partnerships, substituting "other eligible individual,"  but the effect of the policies is the same.   

The letter from University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman and Provost Bill Hanlon says the bill puts the University at risk of losing some of its top talent to universities elsewhere in the country.

Some faculty members at the U of M have threatened to resign if the bill becomes law. 

The House Fiscal Agency says the bill will save the state $8 million annually, based on an estimate of 66 state employees receiving domestic partner benefits from the state of Michigan.