Not on Snyder’s Agenda: “Social Issues”

Candidate Rick Snyder emphasized economic issues while on the campaign trail and repeatedly downplayed his stances on women’s rights, LGBT rights and other social issues. At a Washtenaw County forum during the campaign, Snyder told the audience,

“As a practical matter, social issues are not on my agenda. We need to come together and focus on putting our economy back together.”

Once in office, Snyder has signed into law a number of pieces of legislation that pander to the conservative base. For example, in December 2011 — just before the Christmas holiday — Snyder signed legislation that prohibits domestic partnership benefits for state employees.

Snyder’s retrograde views are even more stunning when you consider that a majority of voters in three states endorsed marriage equality this year and also blocked a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Minnesota.

Not content with taking away rights from LGBT individuals, Snyder has now focused on women’s rights. In signing House Bill 5711, Snyder approved legislation that all sides agree will likely result in the closure of facilities that provide abortions and limit Michigan women’s access to critical medical services.

The Detroit Free Press editorial board took Snyder to task for his seeming flip-flop on women’s rights:

“Whether by intention or circumstance, one thing is becoming clear: The Snyder who soft-pedaled his own view about abortion in 2010 bears little resemblance to the governor who sits in Lansing today.

“Last year, Snyder attempted to distance himself from legislation he didn’t personally endorse. This year, he has eliminated the pretense that he’s merely respecting the Republican Legislature’s own priorities. When it comes to advancing his party’s extreme right-wing agenda, he has gone from being a sheepish fellow-traveler to a full-throated supporter.”

So it appears that social issues are yet another item on Snyder’s agenda — despite his campaign statements to the contrary.

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