Judge holding hearing on ban of same-sex benefits in public schools, local governments

DETROIT (AP) - A judge is being asked to call a time-out in a lawsuit that challenges a Michigan law banning same-sex benefits in public schools and local governments.

Detroit federal Judge David Lawson stopped the domestic partner law with an injunction last summer. The case is back in court Tuesday for final arguments at 3 p.m., but the state of Michigan believes it should be put on hold.

The state is asking the judge to wait until higher courts determine the future of Michigan's ban on gay marriage.

The Legislature in 2011 passed a bill that prevents public schools and local governments from offering benefits to unmarried partners of employees, whether gay or heterosexual.

Critics say the law is unconstitutional discrimination. The judge so far seems to agree.

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