Frustrating twist to same-sex marriage

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 29, 2009 10:07 PM GMT
    My New York corporate employer has offered domestic-partner benefit coverage for almost as long as I've worked here. Even though I've lived with my boyfriend for more than five years, we never needed to use it because he had his benefits from work and I had mine and it worked for us.

    But recent changes to his benefits made it more cost-effective to move him under my benefits. I filled out the paperwork, notarized our claim that we're life partners, etc.

    We were rejected by my company, which said that because we live in the commonwealth of Massachusetts, which has legalized same-sex marriage, we are denied domestic-partner coverage. We can go ahead and get married and sign up for family benefits, if we would like to.

    So I understand the reasoning, equal is equal and we support the right to marry for all couples equally. But it didn't even occur to me that same-sex marriage would void domestic-partner benefits. Since neither of us wants to get married, we're stuck paying for separate benefits. Just like all the straight, unmarried couples!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 29, 2009 10:34 PM GMT
    Expect these things to occur whenever you want to file for something as a couple, while you are still living in sin icon_cool.gif

    Entities that offer any benefits have a way of using the law to their benefit. If you expect benefits as a single man, your live-in partners wages will be applied and will lower your benefits. However if you want your partner on your insurance, you will be denied, as experienced.
  • drypin

    Posts: 1798

    Dec 29, 2009 10:35 PM GMT
    Ouch! Yeah, one more argument why a PAC arrangement might make more sense.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 29, 2009 10:42 PM GMT
    drypin saidOuch! Yeah, one more argument why a PAC arrangement might make more sense.


    Ha!

    It's a New York company, but I live in Mass. If I decided to go ahead and get married, I would get benefits. But then what if I held out and the company relocated me to NY? Then I would get domestic-partnership benefits anyway. But I could marry, get relocated, and chose to live over the river in New Jersey, where they don't recognize gay marriages from other states as NY does, so I would lose my benefits again... but then I could register for domestic-partnership benefits? Right? No? I'm so confused!!

  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Dec 29, 2009 11:16 PM GMT
    Wow.
    I'm quite sure that when California had legalized gay marriage (for a few months), we could choose either marriage or a domestic partnership.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 29, 2009 11:28 PM GMT
    Webster666 saidWow.
    I'm quite sure that when California had legalized gay marriage (for a few months), we could choose either marriage or a domestic partnership.




    But I guess if you're going by 100% equality, then you would have to extend domestic-partner benefits to straight, unmarried couples. And then imagine the chaos.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 29, 2009 11:32 PM GMT
    lol, dj, this is how it is up here - you can be married or have an equal common-law arrangement. You can be gay or straight. No chaos. (not to be confused with 'no homo' lol!)

    -Doug
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 30, 2009 12:05 AM GMT
    Oh good, Doug, just rub it in.

    icon_razz.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 30, 2009 2:07 AM GMT
    Now down here they now acknowledge two people of the same sex living together as de facto. This is a doubled edged sword. They say so when a gay couple retire, they will be able to claim a joint pension. But by the time we retire there will be no old aged pension. Also if we retired now. We still would not get a pension, as we have to much capital in investments; we have to much money.

    Also with this. If I was to get sick. I could no longer seek sickness benefits, or if I was unemployed, get unemployment benefits, as my partner earns way to much.

    So even though the left wing government of Kevin Dudd has givern homosexual advancement; I've gone backwards in my right to government assistance.

    So now down here you are better off, not to live with anyone. So advancement in one way, can take you back in another, so in a way it stays the same.

    Now I did not ask for this, nor won't it either, it's been forced on by a few who lobbed the government for gay marriage. They said no to gay marriage, and gave us this.

    I myself was happy with the Status Que, so long as homosexuality was not a criminal activity, I was OK with the way things were. I'm not better off, as I have no won't to get married.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 30, 2009 2:22 AM GMT
    Are government hand outs in a welfare state not meant to benefit the needy?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 30, 2009 2:29 AM GMT
    well, ...now I feel awful. I was just trying to point out that you should all have both types of bonding available to EVERYONE straight or gay. I often use Canada so that those that would say bullshit it can't possibly work will hold off as here's a real example where it does indeed work out, and work out well.

    Too many are seeing us as bragging, when in fact we're trying to show examples of how it can be in the US, and that it's worth fighting for.


    -Doug
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 30, 2009 2:51 AM GMT
    Sounds fair to me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 30, 2009 3:05 AM GMT
    Here in Australia, some of the government agencies started recognising same-sex couples who live together (even though same-sex marriage is outlawed). Anyways, turns out that the benefits a couple receives is lower than what 2 singles would get. So now some gay groups are angry about that.

    I s'pose I see both sides of it. If you're an older guy (i.e. of the retired age) and you depend on the pension or whatever, then yeah, it would totally suck to have your benefits go down. On the other side of the coin, this is what we fought for - equal rights. You can't have the good without the bad.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 30, 2009 5:57 AM GMT
    djdorchester2 said Since neither of us wants to get married, we're stuck paying for separate benefits. Just like all the straight, unmarried couples!
    Here's the key statement. Equal means equal.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 30, 2009 6:15 AM GMT
    ......and there's equality for you, I mean, us!
  • santz7

    Posts: 47

    Dec 30, 2009 9:56 AM GMT
    Webster666 saidWow.
    I'm quite sure that when California had legalized gay marriage (for a few months), we could choose either marriage or a domestic partnership.


    For a while I think that would have been the case, but if marrige comes back to california.. I think domestic parnership will go out the window.. or domestic parnership will have to be extended to all couples gay and straigh.. I'm almost possitiveicon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 30, 2009 11:42 AM GMT
    Does your company offer domestic partner benefits to unmarried straight couples? If they are can they then deny you even though you can legally be married in Mass?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 30, 2009 12:24 PM GMT
    I discovered the same glitch when my partner of fifteen years lost his job. I looked into DP benefits but they're no longer available because we can marry. We just don't want to. Hey! It's a choice now.

    Hetero couples are also denied DP benefits. Companies are just looking for ways to contain costs by limiting benefits. This isn't about solidarity for same-sex marriage. Business and government got scared when lots of non-traditional couples (roommates, siblings, etc) started to apply for DP benefits and courts were granting them.

    Luckily, the stimulus bill pays 65% of his COBRA coverage (Thank You President Obama!) so we're ok for now.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 30, 2009 12:59 PM GMT
    Longblack saidAre government hand outs in a welfare state not meant to benefit the needy?


    Maybe in america.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 30, 2009 1:02 PM GMT
    stringman saidDoes your company offer domestic partner benefits to unmarried straight couples? If they are can they then deny you even though you can legally be married in Mass?



    No they don't offer it to unmarried straight couples.

    I'm not really complaining about unfair treatment, just the opposite. Like I said, equal means equal. It just didn't even cross my mind that I was no longer eligible for DP benefits since our right to marry was granted. And, like Joe52, we don't plan to get married... but glad to have the right to.

  • Koaa2

    Posts: 1556

    Dec 30, 2009 1:12 PM GMT
    Webster666 saidWow.
    I'm quite sure that when California had legalized gay marriage (for a few months), we could choose either marriage or a domestic partnership.



    I think that is correct, I choose to stay in domestic partnership. No desire to be "married".
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Dec 30, 2009 1:25 PM GMT
    djdorchester2 saidMy New York corporate employer has offered domestic-partner benefit coverage for almost as long as I've worked here. Even though I've lived with my boyfriend for more than five years, we never needed to use it because he had his benefits from work and I had mine and it worked for us.

    But recent changes to his benefits made it more cost-effective to move him under my benefits. I filled out the paperwork, notarized our claim that we're life partners, etc.

    We were rejected by my company, which said that because we live in the commonwealth of Massachusetts, which has legalized same-sex marriage, we are denied domestic-partner coverage. We can go ahead and get married and sign up for family benefits, if we would like to.

    So I understand the reasoning, equal is equal and we support the right to marry for all couples equally. But it didn't even occur to me that same-sex marriage would void domestic-partner benefits. Since neither of us wants to get married, we're stuck paying for separate benefits. Just like all the straight, unmarried couples!



    I'm not unsympathetic to your situation, but that sounds like equality to me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 30, 2009 4:57 PM GMT
    Everyday we learn something new about the US, so do we have this right? That straight men and women in the States, if not married, are living in sin? Wtf, rly?

    Good grief, how non-secular can you get?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 30, 2009 5:09 PM GMT
    meninlove said Everyday we learn something new about the US, so do we have this right? That straight men and women in the States, if not married, are living in sin? Wtf, rly?

    Good grief, how non-secular can you get?



    No no, that's a religious thing... not a US thing. It's marriage rights and benefits that you only get through a legal union -- tax breaks for filing jointly, social security and medicare benefits from your spouse, decision-making rights such as with medical issues. And then there's the employment benefits like family health insurance, family medical leave in case of an illness, life insurance, etc.

    It's not about "living in sin," as far as employers and the government are concerned you're just roommates until you're legally wed.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 30, 2009 5:10 PM GMT
    djdorchester2 saidMy New York corporate employer has offered domestic-partner benefit coverage for almost as long as I've worked here. Even though I've lived with my boyfriend for more than five years, we never needed to use it because he had his benefits from work and I had mine and it worked for us.

    But recent changes to his benefits made it more cost-effective to move him under my benefits. I filled out the paperwork, notarized our claim that we're life partners, etc.

    We were rejected by my company, which said that because we live in the commonwealth of Massachusetts, which has legalized same-sex marriage, we are denied domestic-partner coverage. We can go ahead and get married and sign up for family benefits, if we would like to.

    So I understand the reasoning, equal is equal and we support the right to marry for all couples equally. But it didn't even occur to me that same-sex marriage would void domestic-partner benefits. Since neither of us wants to get married, we're stuck paying for separate benefits. Just like all the straight, unmarried couples!



    What is frustrating about this? You are not married? Why should you be treated any differently? Seems like the system is working perfectly to me

    Get married or else shut up