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Massachusetts firms drop domestic-partner benefits ^ | December 9, 2004 | Cheryl Wetzstein

Posted on 12/09/2004 8:54:21 AM PST by crushelits

To some major Massachusetts employers, this year's advent of same-sex "marriage" means the end of their domestic-partnership benefit programs.

The decision by IBM Corp., the New York Times Co. and Northeastern University to offer health benefits only to "married" same-sex couples pleases some advocates, but troubles others.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's Goodridge decision, which legalized same-sex "marriage" as of May 17, "leveled the playing field," said Candace Quinn, vice president of Baystate Health System, which employs 90,000 people.

Years ago, she said, Baystate started offering domestic-partner benefits to its homosexual employees, because "they had no other option to cover their life partners."

The Goodridge decision changed everything for same-sex couples, she said, and because Baystate doesn't offer domestic-partner benefits to unmarried heterosexual couples, it created an unfair situation for them.

"So we are going back to the policy that we only supply benefits to married couples," said Ms. Quinn, adding that the policy change was announced in the summer so Baystate's 50 affected employees could make plans -- including wedding arrangements.

These decisions show that "corporate America is taking a step toward equality," said Winnie Stachelberg, political director at the Human Rights Campaign. "Equalizing benefits, responsibilities and rights for individuals by corporations was exactly what this [Goodridge] case was all about. It was about fair and equal treatment."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Front Page News
KEYWORDS: benefits; domestic; drop; firms; homosexualagenda; ibm; massachusetts; northeasternu; nyt; partner; samesexmarriage; wetzstein
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1 posted on 12/09/2004 8:54:22 AM PST by crushelits
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To: crushelits

The gays should be happy. No trace of "second class citizenship" remains. So they can get married up there and get their benefits.

Unless the whole exercise was about somehing other than "having the right to marry" . . .

2 posted on 12/09/2004 8:56:35 AM PST by cvq3842
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To: crushelits
I saw this on Special Report last night and thought it to be wonderful.

And they quoted someone as saying that this was an unfair move because the decision for gay couples to marry is more difficult than for heterosexual couples.


3 posted on 12/09/2004 8:57:15 AM PST by Phantom Lord (Advantages are taken, not handed out)
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: crushelits

Amusing "unintended consequences".

5 posted on 12/09/2004 8:58:57 AM PST by rhombus
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To: crushelits
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.
6 posted on 12/09/2004 9:01:16 AM PST by crushelits
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To: crushelits

I wonder just how many gay people work for Raytheon... :P

7 posted on 12/09/2004 9:02:45 AM PST by Constantine XIII
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To: crushelits

The law of unintended consequences at work.

8 posted on 12/09/2004 9:05:20 AM PST by TASMANIANRED (Free the Fallujah one)
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To: crushelits

I have been looking for this over at DU to see how they are reacting as I suspect it will be a fun fight to watch. Can't find it posted anywhere. If any other brave souls venture over there please post a link and ping me.

9 posted on 12/09/2004 9:05:33 AM PST by Phantom Lord (Advantages are taken, not handed out)
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To: crushelits

Yikes !!! A twinge of common sense. Whoda thunkit !!!

10 posted on 12/09/2004 9:13:36 AM PST by GeekDejure ( LOL = Liberals Obey Lucifer !!!)
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To: Constantine XIII

Apparently Raytheon has five LGBT networks and an active human resources program.

I do know that they match donations to Gay-Straight Alliances in schools.

11 posted on 12/09/2004 9:14:50 AM PST by DBrow
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To: cvq3842

They never really said it was about equality anyway.

12 posted on 12/09/2004 9:17:23 AM PST by Jaded ((Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. - Mark Twain))
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To: crushelits
Baystate's 50 affected employees

It's cheaper to pay the differential of $120,000 in annual medical insurance than to litigate in court (50 employees x $600/month insurance, less the difference for individual coverage) .

13 posted on 12/09/2004 9:23:19 AM PST by angkor
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To: DBrow

O_O wow, who'd a thunk it?

You'd figure a military contractor would be about as manly a work environment as you could get.

14 posted on 12/09/2004 9:26:15 AM PST by Constantine XIII
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To: Phantom Lord

I Subscribe to the Homosexual Agenda

DU Homo subscriber

December 9, 2004
By Joseph Hughes

I also subscribe to Newsweek and Spin, for what it's worth. Seriously, though, I am so tired of hearing bigotry masquerade as "values," hatred as "compassion." I'll be blunt: If you do not accept homosexuality, do not think that gays should marry, you are a bigot. You're not old fashioned. You're also not Christian. Again, you are a bigot. And an idiot. And I'm tired of people not calling things what they are.

So let's spend a little time discussing the "homosexual agenda."

These homosexuals – who (and I checked) are actual people and not a nameless, faceless, well-dressed mob – are apparently out to get special rights and privileges from the government. They want - gasp - to be able to marry and enjoy the benefits associated with such unions. They want - God forbid - to be able to visit their dying partners in the hospital, to make arrangements should they die. And they also want - heavens - to be treated with the same dignity the rest of us are afforded.

The nerve.

Why would homosexuals want these things? Why would they, for some strange reason, want to be on the same footing as the rest of society? Why? Why are they so in our faces with the "We're here! We're queer! Get used to it!" chants? Why do they push their radical, let's-all-have-equal-rights agenda down our throats? Why would they stop with one single-sex marriage partner – why not marry their dogs?

If you asked any one of these questions without tongue firmly planted in cheek, there are several things you should know: This article isn't for you. You are a bigot. You are an idiot.

You'll hear the Right claiming to not be homophobic. They'll tell you they live and let live (as long as you don't live next to them). They'll also tell you that, like them, most Americans agree that the "institution" of marriage is something worth protecting. As if homosexuals and like-minded individuals everywhere are – as seen in that hateful campaign brochure distributed this fall – out to ban their Bibles.

Let's look at this confusion in depth.

If someone's religious rites don't respect everyone's basic civil rights, then something is wrong. They see it as "us" (for lack of a better term) trying to change their religious standards. But it appears to me that their religious views – views that not everyone subscribes to (different religions, no religion, etc.) – are being used to prevent someone from holding their basic rights.

Again, there's no army of homosexuals on the prowl to ruin someone's religious rite. Let's say Ohio's Issue 1 (constitutional ban on same-sex marriage) failed or is somehow ruled unconstitutional. A church could still refuse to marry homosexuals, because it doesn't have a legal obligation to do so. Do I agree? No. Could they? Sure. But I don't think a religion has the right to tell the state how it should govern a legally-binding agreement.

There are two definitions of "marriage" being discussed here: Religious and civil (not as in civil unions, but the "marriage" that comes from getting the paper at the courthouse). How churches and theologians legislate the former is their business. How the government legislates the latter is their business. Never the twain shall meet.

If you don't like the idea that a church may in the future marry homosexuals in the religious rite, that's up to you. But it's not up to you to use your religion (one of myriad religions) to define how the state sees marriage. Because, if you do, you're somehow suggesting there's a state religion – something, if I'm remembering correctly, we fought back in the day to avoid.

Plus, why do we never see the religious marriage-defense roadblocks fly up when two atheists get married? Because homosexuals – like blacks and women before them – are easy targets for them to marginalize. Where does it stop? When will it end?

Here's something you won't hear in the bigots' anti-gay posturing: They're scared. They are more afraid of "Will and Grace" than al Qaeda attacking their local Piggly Wiggly. They see Janet Jackson's nipple on television, see "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," and they are scared. It wasn't so long ago that the sight of a black person in their diner provoked the same response. Fear of change is a dangerous thing. Dangerous for those afraid to change and, even more so, for those seen as the "changers."

This fear has led many to develop a terribly misled view of homosexuals. If gays are allowed to marry, they say, marriage will be ruined. Why, then, is the state that allows same-sex marriage (Massachusetts) the one with the lowest divorce rate? If they're allowed to raise kids, they say, those children will grow up mal-adjusted. Why, then, was it reported recently that children of same-sex couples are just as well off as those with mixed-sex parents? What are they so afraid of?

And they can keep their "values." I really have a hard time believing Jesus would rather keep gays out of His church and ban abortion than feed the hungry, clothe the poor and cure the sick. Remember those values? You won't hear about those at your local WASPy mega-church these days. "God is Love" doesn't quite ring as true any more, does it?

America is at a dangerous crossroads: We, as a nation, could remain old-ashioned, looking to a hate-filled past for our values. Or we could look to the future, embrace diversity as an ideal and move forward. If I were a praying man, I'd pray for the latter. It's our only hope. Joseph Hughes is a graphic designer and writer by day and a liberal blogger by night. Read stories like this and many more at his blog, Hughes for America.

15 posted on 12/09/2004 9:30:00 AM PST by crushelits
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To: crushelits
I'm a hetero who's about to take advantage of the domestic partners policy in my company...if it lasts. I'm getting my g-friend covered under my plan. Although I hope my company doesn't change its policies I'm definitely glad this is happening, even at the possible expense of my situation I'm still glad. For too frigging long every special interest group has had special laws written for them here, there, everywhere and all those laws did was discriminate against me, a single white heterosexual Christian late 20 male. If you think about my description you will notice that I qualify for absolutely NO special treatment because 1) I'm a man, 2) I'm white 3) I'm not gay and 4) I celebrate CHRISTmas. I'm hated even more because my parents were successful enough to bring me up in a suburb, another no-no.
In fact, 1-4 puts me directly in the cross-hairs of every single special interest group this country can come up with. I suffer because some white idiots 100+ years ago sold and bought black men,women, and children. My ancestors were in Ireland at the time, go figure. Even if they weren't from Ireland and I had slave owners as great great grandparents, what does that have to do with me? I'll tell you, it has as much to do with me as the black youth of today have to do with slavery. Prejudice this, and prejudice that, everyone has been discriminated against. Are there people out there stupid enough to believe that white heterosexual Christian males aren't discriminated against? A) No one can publicly celebrate my religious holidays if they REALLY believe and aren't just in it for the presents. B) I could never get away with rape by citing a boner, but a woman can kill her children and make the defense that hormones in her body made her temporarily insane C) Being white actually makes it harder to get into college or even certain HS.
Why are certain discriminations okay while others are not. Women's gym's? Asian student centers? Black yellow pages? United Negro College Fund? Affirmative Action policies? Why is it okay for everyone to discriminate against me? I can't get a scholarship for being white. I can't even keep women off a golf course, and forget about celebrating ST. Pats day with a St. Pats day parade because its now the GAY PRIDE parade.
Is it because of my skin color? Yes
Is it because of my gender? Yes
Is it because of my sexual preferences? Yes
Is it because of my religion? Yes
If I were black or Arab, a woman or gay, an atheist or Mulsim all of this would be condemned loudly by every left wing news outlet from Harvard to Hollywood, but no, because I'm white, because I was blessed with a penis, because I use the word blessed every once in a while, because I celebrate CHRISTmas and worship a women's body its okay to discriminate against me. Why? I'm beginning to think its because people are jealous. I'm beginning to think that everyone deep down wishes they were a late 20's white Christian male with a deep seeded passion for beautiful women.
For all the screaming the left does against discrimination, they are the most prejudice people I know. When are they going to wake up, take heed of the old adage, "two wrongs don't make a right" and end all these special interest laws. Racism, sexism, and all the -isms will never go away until we stop discriminating. It doesn't matter against who, or for who its still all discrimination.
16 posted on 12/09/2004 9:33:51 AM PST by ReeseKev27 (Liberalism = Idealism; Conservative = Realism)
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To: crushelits

Thanks. But not what I was looking for. I would like a link to a thread on DU discussing the decision by companies in MA to drop same sex benes for those who are not married.

17 posted on 12/09/2004 9:46:54 AM PST by Phantom Lord (Advantages are taken, not handed out)
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To: Constantine XIII

Military contractors must gleefully embrace diversity to get tax money deposited in their accounts.

18 posted on 12/09/2004 9:54:54 AM PST by DBrow
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To: ReeseKev27

It's time we all read "The Communist Manifesto" & then all will understand this situation fully.

19 posted on 12/09/2004 10:02:40 AM PST by Digger
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To: ReeseKev27

This may or may not have any relation to this post, but here in Maryland, we got some homo couples suing to get married - but the state refuses to even recognize heterosexual couples that have been living together for years as common-law marriages. How the hell is that fair.

What these cockamamy people have to realize is that homosexuality is NOT NORMAL. It's not natural and it's not what nature intended. I wish they would quit trying to normalize perverted actvity.

20 posted on 12/09/2004 10:03:41 AM PST by SeniorMoment
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