Arts, Page 5
*Nidigan Dai i
Tuesday, November 6,2007
Court set to hear benefits case
te-sex couples say benefits to the same-sex partners of
y might leave 'U' The state chapter of the Ameri-
can Civil Liberties Union is rep-
f court doesn't resenting 21 gay couples who are
appealing the case to the state
Terturn decision Supreme Court after a February
decision by a lower court said the
By MARA GAY 2004 constitutional amendment
Daily StaffReporter also prohibits state employers from
offering benefits to their .employ-
Michigan Supreme Court ees' same-sex partners.
egin hearing arguments The case hinges on whether the
bout whether or not a 2004 2004 amendment, passed by ballot
arriage ban prohibits state initiative, extends to the benefits
ers, including the Univer- offered by public employers or just
Michigan, from providing prevents the state from recognizing
The ACLU argues that the ban
has nothing to do with benefits
and is strictly about preventing gay
marriage. State Attorney General
Mike Cox has argued that it does.
Many Universityemployees with
same-sex partners say a ruling from
the Republican-dominated court
upholding the lower court's deci-
sion would make them less likely to
stay in Ann Arbor.
The University has filed an
amicus brief supporting the ACLU,
arguing that the University's abil-
ity to recruit and retain the best
professors and researchers would
be compromised if it could not offer
same-sex partner benefits to its
According to the amicus brief,
196 partners of University employ-
ees and eight children covered by
University health care would lose
their coverage if the University
were unable to provide same-sex
The University rewrote its
employee contracts in 2004 to
ensure it could offer the partners
of its employees health insurance
without violating the new state law.
After the appeals court ruling ear-
See BENEFITS, Page 7
BLEEDING MAIZE AND BLUE
Gen. Counsel says
Ed. Dep't makes
By ARIKIA MILLIKAN
The University responded
yesterday to a letter from the
U.S. Department of Education
demanding changes to Michi-
gan Stadium because of alleged
violations of federal accessibil-
The University's 26-page
response challenges the depart-
ment's letter, denying most of
the accusations made against
the University and criticizing
the department for "disparag-
ing" the University and making
"repeated false assertions."
The exchange began Oct. 29
when the University acknowl-
edged it received a letter from
the Department of Education
threatening to cut funding to
the University if it didn't make
Michigan Stadium friendlier to
disabled fans. The University
had until yesterday to reply to
the Department of Education's
Office for Civil Rights and show
that it has addressed the prob-
lems laid out in the letter or has
plans to fix them.
If the Department of Edu-
cation doesn't think the Uni-
versity's response contains an
"acceptable remedial plan" or
demonstrates its compliance
with the department's requests,
it could seek to cut its funding to
the University or refer the case
to the Department of Justice,
which could sue the University.
Richard Bernstein - an
attorney representing the
Michigan Paralyzed Veterans
of America, a group suing the
University over stadium acces-
sibility - said last week he was
planning to file a motion to ask
the judge to immediately rule in
the case based on the Depart-
ment of Education's findings.
Bernstein said he plans to wait
a few days to see if the Depart-
ment of Justice intervenes.
"We have not filed the
motion for summary disposi-
tion because we are waiting for
what we believe to be an immi-
nent filing of intervention by
the U.S. Department of Justice,"
At the center of the debate
is the charge that the Univer-
sity is in violation of federal law
in the seating bowl that took
place over the last two decades
could be considered "renova-
tion" rather than "repairs,"
which would force the Univer-
sity to adhere to a higher set of
federalregulations. The Univer-
sity argued in its response that
the concrete replacement was a
repair and that it has adhered to
all standards necessary in such
The response letter, signed
by Interim General Counsel
Gloria Hage, contested several
other allegations contained in
the Department of Education's
letter, including the accusation
that the University has repeat-
edly ignored requests for infor-
mation by OCR investigators.
In an interview last night,
Hage refuted claims by the
4 See STADIUM, Page 7
Engineering senior A.J. Hunter donates blood in the Michigan Union as part of the Blood Battle. After the first day of the competition, Michigan leads Ohio State, 175 pints to
164. The battle runs for two weeks. A list of donation locations is available at events.umich.edu.
ANN ARBOR CITY GOVERNMENT
SPARTANS SPOUT OFF
Even after the game,
know it, but.it's a rivalry heats up
City Council election draws just
one challenger, little interest
By DANIEL STRAUSS
There's a City Council election today in Ann
You just wouldn't know it from the lack of both
political activity and interest surrounding the vote.
Only one of the five seats on the council up for elec-
tion is being contested. The only candidate facing
opposition is Council member Stephen Rapundalo
(D-Ward 2), who switched his party affiliation from
the Republican to Democratic Party before the 2005
Sabra Briere, a Democrat running unopposed in
Ward 1, said the general lack of awareness people have
about the election stems from the fact that primary
elections held in August nearly replaces the general
She said primary elections, combined with the
highly democratic sentiment in Ann Arbor, lowers
voter turnout and interest in running for City Council
"The primary has become the election because, in
the general election, there has been no Republican
or independent running in the last few years," Bri-
ere said. "The Republican Party has fallen apart. It's
because they don't win local or statewide elections,
See ELECTION, Page 7
ost-win antics fired coach John L. Smith, he
focused a lot of his team's success
ger MSU coach on how it dealt with Michigan.
He called the Wolverines a "mea-
By SCOTT BELL suring stick" at Big Ten Media
DailySportsEditor Day in August, and he empha-
sized his team's annual match-
higan State coach Mark up with Michigan by having a
nio fired back at running countdown-to-Michigan clock in
like Hart and the rest of the Michigan State's practice facility.
tan football teamyesterday All that preparation was for
ne of the Wolverines' post- naught, though, as Michigan
elebrations and comments came from behind to beat the
ay night. Among a handful Spartans, 28-24, in East Lansing
gestions and warnings, the on Saturday night.
ar coach said the Wolver- The comment that struck the
ed to "check themselves." biggest nerve with Dantonio
en Dantonio took over for See STATE, Page 7
After Saturday's win over.Michigan State, Michigan players taunted the Spartans by holding a "moment of
silence" for Michigan State's season in the center of the field.
New 'U' center to study cultural differences in heart disease
NIH provides $7 million
to fund research
By ELAINE LAFAY
In an effort to find out why some
ethnic groups have higher rates of
heart disease than others, the National
Institutes of Health has funded a new
University of Michigan center to study
Scientists say the University's Cen-
ter for Integrative Approaches to
Health Disparities is groundbreaking
because it considers biological and eth-
nic factors that may contribute to heart
disease. Researchers plan to take socio-
economic status; race; psychological
factors such as stress, depression and
social relationships; and health behav-
iors into account when studying heart
Studies have shown that African
Americans have a higher rate of heart
disease and mortality than white peo-
The National Institutes of Health
has awarded the center $7 million that
is expected to support it until at least
The center's director, Epidemiology
Prof. Ana Diez-Roux, said the center
will take an interdisciplinary approach
to consider a wider range of potential
causes for the different rates of heart
.disease between races.
demographers, statisticians and a wide
range of medical health professionals
will work together in the center.
To start with, the center will focus
on three projects.
The first is a partnership with the
Jackson Heart Study, a long-term study
of African Americans in Jackson, Miss.
in which healthy individuals are fol-
lowed over time in order to identify
social and geographic predictors of car-
See CENTER, Page 8
TODAY'S H I: 41
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Vol. CXVIII, No. 44 SUDOKU..
2007 The Michigan Daily OPINION..
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