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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT


EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
SOUTHERN DIVISION
THERESA BASSETT, CAROL KENNEDY,
PETER WAYS, JOE BREAKEY, JOLINDA
JACH, BARBARA RAMBER, DOAK BLOSS,
GERARDO ASCHERI, MICHELLE JOHNSON,
and DENISE MILLER,
Plaintiffs,

Case Number 12-10038


Honorable David M. Lawson

v.
GOVERNOR RICHARD SNYDER,
Defendant.
__________________________________________/
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS MOTION TO HOLD CASE IN ABEYANCE
Defendant Governor Richard Snyder has moved to hold this case in abeyance, arguing that
the plaintiffs claims are based on the validity of Michigans constitutional amendment that bans
same-sex marriage, which has been called into question by recent court rulings. The defendant
argues that if the marriage amendment is struck down, then the plaintiffs claims should fail. The
defendant asks the Court to postpone ruling on the present challenge to Public Employee Domestic
Partner Benefit Restriction Act, Public Act 297 (2011). That law prohibits local units of government
from furnishing health care and other fringe benefits to the domestic partners of their employees.

The defendants motion must be denied for two reasons. First, and most obviously, the
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has overtured this district courts decision
finding the marriage amendment unconstitutional. DeBoer v. Snyder, --- F.3d ----, 2014 WL
5748990 (6th Cir. Nov. 4, 2014). The pending event that supported the defendants rational for
delaying a ruling has occurred. Therefore, no justification to delay the ruling exists any longer.

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Second, the defendants motion is based on the false premise that the status of Michigans
marriage amendment could determine the plaintiffs constitutional challenge to Public Act 297. The
plaintiffs have argued that the law was enacted to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples, and
therefore violates the Equal Protection Clause because it lacks a rational basis for the unequal
treatment it visits upon same-sex public employees. If the law was motivated by animus toward an
unpopular group, then it is invalid, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture v. Moreno, 413 U.S. 528, 534-35
(1973) (holding that if the constitutional conception of equal protection of the laws means
anything, it must at the very least mean that a bare congressional desire to harm a politically
unpopular group cannot constitute a legitimate governmental interest), and a change to the marriage
laws that could dampen its discriminatory effect would not save it.
Because good reasons do not exist to defer ruling on the dispositive motions in this case, the
Court will deny the motion to stay its hand.
Accordingly, it is ORDERED that the defendants motion to hold the case in abeyance [dkt.
#100] is DENIED.
s/David M. Lawson
DAVID M. LAWSON
United States District Judge
Dated: November 10, 2014

PROOF OF SERVICE
The undersigned certifies that a copy of the foregoing order was served
upon each attorney or party of record herein by electronic means or first
class U.S. mail on November 10, 2014.
s/Susan Pinkowski
SUSAN PINKOWSKI

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