Judge Blocks Ban on Domestic Partner Benefits

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DETROIT (AP) -- A federal judge has granted an injunction to block Michigan's ban on domestic partner benefits for employees who work in school districts and local governments.

Judge David Lawson in Detroit says the plaintiffs so far have made a "plausible claim" that the law violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The decision came Friday, nearly a year after the judge heard arguments.

A law passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Snyder ended health insurance for people whose domestic partners work for certain public employers.

The American Civil Liberties Union says a handful of school districts had offered the benefits before the law took effect in 2012, along with Ingham County, Washtenaw County and the cities of Ann Arbor, East Lansing and Kalamazoo.