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March 08, 2005 - Image 1

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-03-08

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Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Opinion 4
Sports 10

Daniel Adams
on democracy's
false hopes
J.C. Mathis's journey
to Michigan
culminated on
Saturday.

5t~CFNT.~O(T407

Weather

H, 24
LOW; 12
TOMORROW:
2/39

One-hundredfourteen years ofeditorialfreedom
www.mihazandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXV, No. 92 62005 The Michigan Daily

Same-sex
EMU policy
-under fire

University says it
will defend its benefits
plan until proven that
it violates Prop. 2
4
By Anne Joling
Daily Staff Reporters
Four months after the passage of
Proposal 2 banned same-sex marriage
in Michigan, Eastern Michigan Univer-
sity is facing challenges from conserva-
tive groups in Michigan regarding the
same-sex domestic partnership benefits
it offers.
Under attack is EMU's policy of offer-
ing half off tuition to spouses or domestic
partners of its employees - a policy that
conservative groups say violates the state
constitution by offering the discount to
students in same-sex relationships with
EMU employees.
In a statement released last Wednes-
day, the American Family Association
of Michigan said it believes EMU is vio-
lating the Marriage Protection Amend-
ment, which was added to the state
constitution under Proposal 2.
The amendment defines marriage as
between a man and a woman, mandating
that such a relationship "shall be the only
agreement recognized as a marriage or
similar union for any purpose" by the
state.
"We don't have any doubt that
Eastern's intent is to treat homosexual
domestic partnerships as being equal or
similar to marriage and is thus a viola-
tion of the state constitution," said Gary
Glenn, president of AFA-Michigan.
But prior to the passage of Proposal
2, Glenn and other supporters of the
amendment were quoted as saying that if
the proposal passed, it would not prevent
a public institution from offering same-
sex benefits to their employees.
In a November op-ed piece in the
Detroit News, written by the Ameri-
can Civil Liberties Union of Michigan,
Glenn is quoted as having said the pro-

posal "will not affect benefits offered
to people living together or in same-sex
relationships.
Glenn said he has no recollection of
ever making such a statement.
"I'm not familiar with having said
that, and, if you've noticed, I use the
word 'homosexual' when talking about
this issue instead of the politically cor-
rect 'same-sex,' " Glenn said.
In an earlier interview, Patrick Gil-
len, an attorney for the Ann Arbor-based
Conservative Thomas More Law Center
said he did not know of any statements
made regarding whether Proposal 2
would prevent employers from offering
same-sex benefits.
"I'm not aware of any deceptive com-
ments bydsupporters of the proposal,"
Gillen said.
EMU spokeswoman Pam Young said
the university provides half off tuition
to an employee's spouse or his domestic
partner as long as they provide docu-
mentation of being in a relationship for
a year.
EMU's general counsel, Ken McKa-
nder, said EMU is not yet sure how they
will go about handling this situation.
"At this point, it's not clear that (this
type of benefit) is prohibited by the
amendment," McKander said. "We're
waiting to take a look at the attorney
general's opinion and the outcome of the
impending lawsuit with the Ann Arbor
Public Schools."
Last month, the Thomas More Law
Center filed a lawsuit to appeal a previ-
ous decision regarding the Ann Arbor
Public Schools' right to offer same-sex
domestic partner benefits.
Wednesday's statement from AFA-
Michigan was also delivered to Michi-
gan Attorney General Mike Cox. Glenn
said he hopes Cox and members of the
state Legislature will take a look at the
issue.
Cox could not be reached yesterday
for comment.
Glenn also said the American Family
Association is opposed to EMU's policy
See EMU, Page 7

EUGENE ROBERTSON/Daily
Bisi Adewunmi, left, a University alum, and Karin Scoville, right, an Ann Arbor resident, pray at the New Life Church prayer meeting on
Washtenaw Avenue yesterday.
ewe Church withdraws
.sub..poenas agaInstresidents

Residents subpoenaed after
speaking out against the
church's building plans
By Laura Van Hyfte
Daily Staff Reporter
At a prayer meeting last night, members
of New Life Church gathered to ask God to
intervene and guide the church through its tri-
als with the Ann Arbor City Council. Taking
turns, each member present praised God and
requested that in some way He oversee the
court dispute the church is involved in with the
city of Ann Arbor.
When New Life Church brought a proposal to
Ann Arbor City Council last year to add a 9,490

square foot auditorium to the church, it sought
a larger space for its congregation, which cur-
rently meets in the Modern Languages Building,
to assemble. However, after listening to the con-
cerns of many community members, the City
Planning Commission ruled against a new audi-
torium, prompting a lawsuit in which New Life
Church said it felt the City was discriminating
based against on religious factors.
The community members who had attended
City Council meetings when the addition of an
auditorium was being debated expressed con-
cerns about safety if the plan was approved.
While New Life Church originally subpoe-
naed these individuals from surrounding North
Burn Park and Oxbridge neighborhoods, it
withdrew these subpoenas last week. But New
Life attorney David French was unavailable to
comment on what grounds the subpoenas were

issued.
Church members have been asked by the
church leaders not to comment, said Chris
Mann, a University alum and New Life Church
member. New Life pastor Steve Hayes was
unavailable for comment as well.
The issuing of subpoenas to residents who tes-
tified against the church was unexpected chiefly
because acts such as this have never happened
before, said Andrea Van Houweling, amember
of the city ordinance committee and a member
of the North Burns Park Association.
"It was a highly unusual thing," Van Hou-
weling said. "Subpoenaing the Planning Com-
mission would have been expected, but issuing
subpoenas to citizens who came to the public
hearing to speak about their concerns is rare."
Van Houweling said she was also surprised
See NEW LIFE, Page 7

i

City Council reviews construction
plan to revamp parking structures

areas: the parking lot at First and William Street as
well as the Klein's Lot on Ashley Street and a parking
deck at First and Washington streets. The 450 total
parking spaces from the three parking areas would be
replaced by a single 500-space parking garage built
on top of the parking lot at First and William Street.
The First and Washington parking garage would
be transformed into affordable housing units,
intended for people who work downtown. Retail
shops, offices and some housing would rest atop the
site of the Klein's Lot and be served by an under-
ground parking facility.
In addition to the three new buildings, the DDA
project would demolish the city's large park mainte-
nance facility on 415 Washington St. and replace it
with one of the largest parks for the proposed Allen
Creek Greenway park system. The large park main-
tenance facility currently in place will be moved to
$uperior Township.
"We're proposing to put in the first piece to the
Greenway," DDA Chair Fred Beal said. The Gre-
enway, a long-standing idea most recently proposed
by the Huron Valley chapter of the Sierra Club of
Michigan, would connect various parks and recre-
ation areas and be situated between the business dis-
trict and residential areas west of downtown.
The developments next to the Greenway will also
be an attempt to revitalize the ailing Ashley commer-
cial district and keep residents living downtown as the
city grows, instead of having them move away to the
See CITY, Page 7

The three parking carriages that will be demolished under DDA's new plan.

ASHLEY HARPER/Daily
Amit Srivastiva speaks on behalf of students against the Coca-Cola
company's conduct in India at last week's MSA meeting.
Investigation
of Cokestat
By Jeremy Davidson
Daily Staff Reporter
The second phase of the University's hearing of the allegations
brought against the Coca-Cola Company began yesterday, when
the newly formed Dispute Review Board agreed to conduct a for-
mal investigation on the charges.
The Coke-Campaign Coalition recently brought forth complaints
against the Coca-Cola Company as a part of an international move-
ment, accusing the company of significant human and labor rights
violations in Colombia and India.
As a result, the coalition has been pressuring the University to drop its
contract with Coca-Cola until the company has met the demands that have
been brought to it by the affected communities in India and Colombia.
The purchasing office will send a bound collection of materials to
Coca-Cola today, which will include some of the reports that the office
has gathered and a letter informing the company that the DRB has taken

By Justin Miller
Daily Staff Reporter
Downtown Ann Arbor may be home to three
high-rise buildings as a part of a plan to invigorate
the area and integrate it with a new system of parks

and green spaces, if the city's Downtown Develop-
ment Authority gets its way.
DDA proposed the estimated $22 million plan to
the Ann Arbor City Council last night, where it met
opposition from some residents.
The plan calls for the destruction of three parking

LGBT readies for Pride Week

Today, from noon to 1:30
o.m. panelists will speak on

Awareness week aims

LGBT pride events are intended to
demonstrate to the nmmunities in

ing without fear," said Britanny Allen,
a member of the Michigan Student

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