- October 16, 2013
Last night Michigan’s East Lansing City Council voted 4 to 0 in favor of creating a domestic partnership registry.
The ordinance, the second of its kind in the state, will allow domestic partners of public employees to access benefits within the city limit.
Because of the state’s restrictions on relationship recognition, the ordinance is largely symbolic. However, the move is an important step forward.
“There is no one that has any illusion that this provides anyone any rights under law, but what it does do is say, ‘As a member of this community … your relationships have equal dignity of those of heterosexual couples,’” said Mayor Pro Term Nathan Triplett to State News.“(The ordinance) provides a graphic illustration of the inequity between same-sex and opposite-sex couples in Michigan.”
East Lansing has a long history of being at the forefront of LGBT equality. In 1972, it was the first municipality in the nation to include sexual orientation in its non-discrimination protections.
This year, East Lansing will be rated in HRC’s Municipal Equality Index, a nationwide evaluation of municipal laws affecting the LGBT community. It examines the laws, policies, and services of municipalities from every state in the country and rates them on the basis of their inclusivity of LGBT people who live and work in those cities.
The MEI highlights the dedication to equality demonstrated by some cities and provides a blueprint for municipal equality for cities whose laws and policies need improvement.
To learn more about the MEI, visit http://www.hrc.org/mei. The MEI 2013 will be released in late November.