Thursday, December 09, 2004

Unmarried gay couples lose health benefits

The Boston Globe has this article today, discussing the perhaps unintended results of the recent gay marriage legalization in Massachusetts. It seems there were many large companies who offered full benefits including health, dental, etc. to gays and their domestic partners. Now that marriage, in the same vein as heterosexuals, is available, some of these companies are saying they will now drop the benefits for those couples who choose to remain unmarried. After all, unmarried heterosexuals are not eligible for such benefits.

As you can imagine, there are some homosexuals upset with this idea.
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, "It's not fair to offer a benefit to one group and exclude another group."

Oh sure....we'll just make the companies pay for benefits for both married and unmarried homosexual couples....and what the heck, while you're at it, why not add benefits for unmarried heterosexual couples too? After all, we don't want to "exclude a group", do we? And people wonder why companies want to relocate overseas.

I don't understand the constant attempt to "drain" corporations as if they are bottomless pits of money. I don't think many people stop to realize that shareholders expect a little notion called profits in order to continue investing in a company. Why should I care as long as I get what I want, right?

This is just one of a plethera of complications that arise when a cultural standard like marriage is re-defined. I predict this is just the beginning of the repurcussions, even though the re-definition of marriage is not widely available. Did anyone stop to think of these things in advance, or was it just a goal of making a point for "the principal of it"? We'll see how it all plays out.

Hat tip to commenter Jim at La Shawn Barber.

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