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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Unmarried gay couples lose health benefits

By Kimberly Blanton, Globe Staff | December 8, 2004

Many of the state's largest employers are dropping health benefits for unmarried gay couples, seven months after Massachusetts became the only state to legalize same-sex marriage.

Massachusetts companies, some of which pioneered so-called domestic-partner benefits for unmarried, same-sex partners, said they are now withdrawing them for reasons of fairness: If gays and lesbians can now marry, they should no longer receive special treatment in the form of health benefits that were not made available to unmarried, opposite-sex couples.

Large employers terminating or phasing out domestic-partner benefits for some or all Massachusetts workers include IBM Corp., Raytheon Co., Emerson College, Northeastern University, the National Fire Protection Association, Boston Medical Center, Baystate Health System, and The New York Times Co., which owns The Boston Globe and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

"We're saying if you're a same-sex domestic partner, you now have the same option heterosexuals have, so we have to apply the same rules to you," said Larry Emerson, Baystate's vice president of human resources.

Health, dental, and other benefits for unmarried, same-sex partners became a mainstay at large US employers over the past decade, led by Cambridge-based Lotus Development Corp., which adopted them in 1991. After unemployment hit rock bottom during the economic boom in the late 1990s, about one in three Fortune 500 companies offered them to compete for top talent, though fewer small employers did.

No data are available on how many employers that offered the benefits are dropping them in Massachusetts. Typically, the proportion of employees who avail themselves of domestic-partner benefits is small, ranging from less than 1 percent at some employers to perhaps 2 percent.

Some companies now in the open-enrollment period for next year's benefits are informing gay employees they must marry to retain health benefits for partners. Some who are changing policies will drop domestic-partner benefits Jan. 1, while others gave employees up to a year to respond to the new marriage law. Baystate notified employees of the change in June and will grant extensions through December 2005 to gay employees considering whether to marry and preserve their benefits. The Springfield health system employs 9,000 in three Massachusetts hospitals, of which about 50 enrolled in domestic partner benefits.

Brad Salavich, global program manager for workforce diversity at IBM, which acquired Lotus in 1995, said unmarried gay employees should not be surprised by a decision to end domestic-partner benefits, effective January 2006. "We were very clear," Salavich said. The domestic-partner benefit "was an extension to equalize benefits for gay and lesbian employees who were not legally able to have their relationships recognized, he said. "If they choose not to continue to receive the benefits, that is a personal choice."

Cathleen Finn, an IBM employee in Cambridge, said she hasn't heard any complaints from colleagues. Finn, a lesbian who married her longtime partner on July 17, said, "I......


http://www.boston.com/business/arti...enefits/?rss_id=Boston Globe -- Business News
 

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It sounds fair to me. They have the opportunity to get legally married and they should if they want to. It won't matter to some people though, they will find something to complain about. They are being treated equal, now it is time to live up to it. They need to try living in Texas for a while, to see how good they have it.
:rant:
 

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I see nothing wrong with this.

Only difficulty I see is that since gay marriage is under attack, if gay marriages in Massachussets end up being annulled as were those in San Francisco, they need to make provisions to quickly get folks re-enrolled. But with a bit of foresight with regard to that contingency, which hopefully will not happen, I think this is actually pretty cool - a sign that it really is possible in our society to treat gay folks the same as anyone else.

Any problems this may cause some couples I see as simply our culture's growing pains.
 

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"Gay" couples can procure health insurance, just not as heterosexual married couples. I imagine what they really want are for heterosexual married couples to carry the burden of higher health insurance costs. My bet is homosexual lifestyles have statistically higher health care costs.

In reality, gays can have de facto marriages, simply not de jeure marriages. In other words, they can live together as spouses in fact, but they will not be treated as spouses by law.

Gays can grant health care powers of attorney to their significant other.
They can live together, call one another husband, wife, whatever.
They can have "marriage" ceremonies in which they pledge themselves to one another.
They can leave their property to one another by will.
They can own property together.
They can name one another beneficiaries of their life insurance.
They can procure a health insurance policy which covers each of them.
They can enter into partnership agreements, which govern all of the above, if they choose.

Unlike heterosexual, married couples, they cannot:

Have children, other than by adoption or extraordinary in vitro type procedures.
Have divorce, alimony, community property/equitable distribution.
Have the social security benefits of one another. (That may change with "privatized social security accounts).

I think the whole gay marriage issues arises from two things. First "gay" people wish to be afforded the respect of "ordinary" couples, without being ordinary. Second, they want the other's social security benefits.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree, Clay. It is a money thing and an image thing.
 

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AClay47 said:
My bet is homosexual lifestyles have statistically higher health care costs.

Unlike heterosexual, married couples, they cannot:

Have children, other than by adoption or extraordinary in vitro type procedures.
I would question the first statement w/o stats. to back it up. It is just your opinion.

You are confusing In Vitro fertilization with Artificial Insemination. The first is the fertilization of an egg with sperm outside of the body, a complicated process. The second is the ol' "turkey baster" method. Its relatively easy to do.

I think you would find that "marriage" is not all that big of an issue among most gays or lesbians.
 

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No SD, I wasn't confusing in vitro fertilization. There was a recent custody battle between two lesbians. One had her egg fertilized in vitro, then implanted into her partner, who gave birth (or so it was reported).

Yes, "my bet" indicated my opinion. I don't see how it could reasonably be construed otherwise.

Gay "Marriage" was a big issue in the last election cycle. I don't know if there is such a thing as a "Gay Community," unless we're talking about San Francisco!
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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If them queer marriage things ever become legall all accross the country, I'ma gonna marry my dawg, so I can get my Army pension to pay it's veterinarian bills! Heck, I'll become a bigamist, and marry my cat too. Get both of their medical bills paid for with taxpayers money.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
An exerpt:



Is HIV Prevention a Good Investment?

Why spend money on AIDS?
In 1994, AIDS became the leading cause of death for adults aged 25-44 in the US.(1) HIV infection is increasing most rapidly among American youth-one in four new infections occurs in people under age 22.(2)

The cost of the AIDS epidemic is incurred not only in dollars, but also in the suffering and death of friends, family and lovers. The loss to society is untold. We lose productivity and creativity, as well as health and social service dollars.

http://www.caps.ucsf.edu/investtext.html

The lifetime medical cost of treating a person infected with HIV is estimated at $119,000.(3) Other costs include loss of earnings due to premature death from AIDS. One study estimated that for the first 10,000 AIDS cases in the US, the average cost of years of work lost equaled about $480,000 per death, or $4.6 billion total.(4) As the epidemic affects a younger population, these costs will undoubtedly rise.
 

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AClay47 said:
No SD, I wasn't confusing in vitro fertilization. There was a recent custody battle between two lesbians. One had her egg fertilized in vitro, then implanted into her partner, who gave birth (or so it was reported).

Yes, "my bet" indicated my opinion. I don't see how it could reasonably be construed otherwise.

Gay "Marriage" was a big issue in the last election cycle. I don't know if there is such a thing as a "Gay Community," unless we're talking about San Francisco!
I KNOW "my bet" indicated your opinion. Most couples do not use In Vitro. The case you are referring to sounds like two women with too much money laying around. Artificial Insemination is the most common way for these couples to have children.

No, Anti Gay marriage was a big issue in the last election.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Canada's high court accepts same-sex marriage
Houston Chronicle (AP) ^ | 12/9/04

In a landmark opinion, Canada's Supreme Court said today the government can redefine marriage to include same-sex couples.

However, the court added that religious officials cannot be forced to perform unions against their beliefs, and the legislation to allow gay marriage must still pass with a majority of the House of Commons.

Canada would join Belgium and the Netherlands in allowing gay marriage if the government rules that it is legal nationwide.

The court's decision brings to the final stages a long, bitter fight over whether gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry in Canada. Public opinion is evenly divided on the matter, and advocates for both sides are preparing for the final phase of the battle.

In the United States, gay marriage is opposed by a majority of Americans, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll taken in November, shortly after constitutional amendments in 11 states to ban same-sex marriage were approved.

Judges in six Canadian provinces and one territory have already overturned the traditional definition, allowing thousands of same-sex weddings.

"This is a victory for Canadian values," said Alexander Munster of Canadians for Equal Marriage.

To pass in the House of Commons, the legislation needs the approval of about 44 of the 95 Liberal backbench members of Parliament to obtain a 155-vote majority in the 308-seat House.

One top Liberal predicted the legislation should pass easily after its introduction, likely early next year. It already has the support of the 38-member Liberal cabinet and virtually all the 54 Bloc Quebecois and 19 New Democrat MPs.

However, some Liberal members of Parliament are opposed.

"I do personally have a problem with redefining marriage and I'm sure some of my colleagues do as well," said Roy Cullen of the Liberal Party.

Gordon Young, pastor of the First Assembly of God Church in St. John's, Newfoundland, was highly disappointed by the ruling.

"It's a sad day for our country," Young told CBC television news. "God is in the DNA of this nation. We believe that changing the definition of marriage is changing the divine institution that God put in place for the order of our society."

The ruling by the court in Ottawa, the federal capital, said the legal definition of marriage should change with public opinion over time.

"Several centuries ago, it would have been understood that marriage be available only to opposite-sex couples," the court said in its advisory opinion. "The recognition of same-sex marriage in several Canadian jurisdictions as well as two European countries belies the assertion that the same is true today."

The opinion is not legally binding and it's now up to the federal government to make gay marriage protected by law nationwide.

The high court opinion comes 18 months after former Prime Minister Jean Chretien abandoned his government's fight against same-sex marriage by refusing to appeal provincial court rulings in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec, which declared traditional marriage laws were unconstitutional.

His government then drafted legislation that would allow gay and lesbian weddings in city halls, courthouses and in religious institutions that choose to perform them. To ensure the bill would be passed, the Liberal government asked the Supreme Court three questions:

-- Does the federal government have exclusive authority to define marriage?

-- Does the charter protect religious groups from having to perform gay weddings against their beliefs?

-- Is the proposed same-sex marriage law constitutional?

Prime Minister Paul Martin expanded the reference after he was sworn in a year ago, adding a fourth question: Is the traditional definition of marriage -- between one man and one woman -- also constitutional? This was aimed at clarifying once and for all whether the century-old definition of marriage is flawed.

The federal Conservatives and several Liberal MPs are expected to fight to preserve marriage for heterosexuals.
 

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Custer said:
An exerpt:

Is HIV Prevention a Good Investment?

Why spend money on AIDS?
In 1994, AIDS became the leading cause of death for adults aged 25-44 in the US.(1) HIV infection is increasing most rapidly among American youth-one in four new infections occurs in people under age 22.(2)

The cost of the AIDS epidemic is incurred not only in dollars, but also in the suffering and death of friends, family and lovers. The loss to society is untold. We lose productivity and creativity, as well as health and social service dollars.

http://www.caps.ucsf.edu/investtext.html

The lifetime medical cost of treating a person infected with HIV is estimated at $119,000.(3) Other costs include loss of earnings due to premature death from AIDS. One study estimated that for the first 10,000 AIDS cases in the US, the average cost of years of work lost equaled about $480,000 per death, or $4.6 billion total.(4) As the epidemic affects a younger population, these costs will undoubtedly rise.
General, this is just talking about AIDS. There are a lot of other things floating around out there. The guys that aren't careful almost certainly will end up with AIDS. Then they pay the price.
Yes the costs will rise, no arguement there. But it is not just the Gay community that is being affected.
 

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Problem I have with non-marital ways of dealing with unions between gay folks is that they invariably are inadvertant expressions of a "separate but equal" policy.

Remains to be revealed that we really need to be protected from an outbreak of publicly-declared monogamy and personal committment, but also think the fact remains that our culture just isn't ready for gay marriage and that pushing for it is a strategic mistake in the laudable push for gay rights.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Strange Destiny said:
General, this is just talking about AIDS. There are a lot of other things floating around out there. The guys that aren't careful almost certainly will end up with AIDS. Then they pay the price.
Yes the costs will rise, no arguement there. But it is not just the Gay community that is being affected.
True. It is also affected "youths".

What does "youths" mean?
 

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Custer said:
The federal Conservatives and several Liberal MPs are expected to fight to preserve marriage for heterosexuals.
OMG, they're not going to legalize heterosexual marriage now, are they????
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Dzerzhinsky said:
OMG, they're not going to legalize heterosexual marriage now, are they????
I know you were joking but has anyone ever seen any breakdowns on support for gay marriage based on whether the person was in a long term marriage, single, divorced, including multiple divorces?

I have a hunch there is some correlation between success or failure in marriage and how you view the institution and how it should be defined.

On a less serious note, I suppose if you had a horrible marriage experience and hated gays, you might support them having the opportunity to suffer.
 

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Custer, don't know what the stats are, but I rather suspect that folks with conventional beliefs are probably more likely to have successful marriages - presuming that we define a successful marriage as one that doesn't end in divorce. And I also think, astonishingly enough, that most conventional beliefs came to be conventional for a reason - i.e. because they work.

But with our conventional beliefs about homosexuality, I think they worked at one time but don't any longer. They're largely derived from Biblical proscriptions against non-procreative sex. The biblical injunction against male homosexuality and against male masturbation (no prohibition against female homosexuality or masturbation that I can find, BTW), made sense in the context of such a beliefs' survival value for the struggling nomadic desert tribe that the Jews were at the time those passages were written.
 

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Strange Destiny said:
No, Anti Gay marriage was a big issue in the last election.
What the heck is "Gay Marriage, anyway?" If it is "marriage," then why add "gay" to it?

If you would, please give us examples of historic "gay marriages."
 

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Dzerzhinsky said:
But with our conventional beliefs about homosexuality, I think they worked at one time but don't any longer. They're largely derived from Biblical proscriptions against non-procreative sex. The biblical injunction against male homosexuality and against male masturbation ,(no prohibition against female homosexuality or masturbation that I can find, BTW) made sense in the context of such a beliefs' survival value for the struggling nomadic desert tribe that the Jews were at the time those passages were written.
I don't know about non-procreative sex, but I know what the Bible says about homosexuality and traditional marriage:

Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

Mark 10:6-9 6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. 9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Notice it didn't say male and male, or female and female

Dzerzhinsky said:
(no prohibition against female homosexuality or masturbation that I can find, BTW)
Often in Biblical times thing were not written about the ladies as often as the men. But, to burst your bubble:

Romans 1:24-32 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.


And this is one Preacher that will never perform a homosexual marriage under any circumstances.
 
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