Local domestic partners sue the state
In January, Ann Arbor teacher Peter Ways, local therapist Joe Breakey, and their daughter, Aliza Breakey-Ways, became a poster family for domestic partner benefits. The ACLU is representing them and three other Michigan couples (including another from Ann Arbor, Theresa Bassett and Carol Kennedy) in a suit challenging a new state law that restricts public employee benefits to married couples.
The parties will file written responses to one another's arguments this month, and the case isn't expected to be decided before August. To the couple's relief, neither they nor Aliza have experienced any harassment, and the Ann Arbor community has rallied behind them, including Aliza's classmates and teachers at Eberwhite. Still, "part of me is a little nervous about being in the limelight," says Breakey. "Part of me feels empowered." Says Ways, "It's a harsh reality to face, that somebody would really pass a law against you."
[Originally published in May, 2012.]