Gay profs, students, to ditch U of Michigan as state moves to rescind health benefits

Other universities outside of Michigan take note. Now is your chance to grab someone currently teaching in Michigan.  And if you’re a gay American or foreigner, considering teaching at, or even just attending, the University of Michigan, don’t.  You’re clearly not welcome.  There are a lot of other states in the US that are much more welcoming.

Coetzee, who moved to Ann Arbor from South Africa ten years ago, said he is frustrated that rights for same sex couples in Michigan appear to be “moving in the opposite direction” of most communities. This year alone, five states have passed or enacted legislation allowing civil unions between same sex couples.

“I question my decision to come to Michigan,” Coetzee said. When Coetzee accepted a job at U-M, he also turned one down at New York Univeristy. “I chose Michigan because it just seemed better. But now New York just made same sex marriage legal and now in Michigan… they want people like my partner to not get treated.”

U-M Latin professor Sara Ahbel-Rappe said that if bill 4770 passes there will likely be a large exodus of professors who leave the university.

“It’s a total slap in the face. It tells me that I don’t deserve the same consideration” as heterosexual couples, she said. “People will leave.”

Ahbel-Rappe and six other professors authored a letter to Gov. Rick Synder asking him not to sign bill 4770 if passed by the senate. The letter calls the bill discriminatory and says it will negatively affect staff recruitment at the university.

U-M officials are also concerned about the bill’s effects. Nearly all of U-M’s competitors offer benefits to same-sex partners. So do most Fortune 500 companies.

Ditch em. Michigan is a fine school, but there are a lot of other schools just as good or better. If Michigan wants to become Alabama, let them. They can teach creationism in their science classes and destroy a world class university. And by the way, Michigan’s arch-rival, the University of Illinois – my undergrad alma mater – offers benefits to civil union partners, since we have civil unions statewide in Illinois.

Dump Michigan.  The state has gone anti-gay.  There are lots of others sane states, and sane universities, you can attend in places that don’t aspire to be the deep south.

PS I pity the Michigan university system.  Once this anti-gay stuff gets online there is no getting rid of it.  Michigan will forever be marked as a hateful, bigoted, intolerant state when any kid, or foreigner, Googles and tries to find out more information about whether they should attend.  That state seriously ruined the reputation of a good school.

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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