This news doesn’t surprise me… but I wish I’d predicted it! From Once, Same-Sex Couples Couldn’t Wed; Now, Some Employers Say They Must:
Until recently, same-sex couples could not legally marry. Now, some are finding they must wed if they want to keep their partner’s job-based health insurance and other benefits.
With same-sex marriage now legal in 35 states and the District of Columbia, some employers that formerly covered domestic partners say they will require marriage licenses for workers who want those perks.
“We’re bringing our benefits in line, making them consistent with what we do for everyone else,” said Ray McConville, a spokesman for Verizon, which notified non-union employees in July that domestic partners in states where same-sex marriage is legal must wed if they want to qualify for such benefits.
Employers making the changes say that since couples now have the legal right to marry, they no longer need to provide an alternative. Such rule changes could also apply to opposite-sex partners covered under domestic partner arrangements.
The news doesn’t surprise me because it confirms my long-held view that companies offering benefits to unmarried people living together was largely a way to provide benefits to same-sex couples. And that’s part of why I think that conservatives have done more to devalue marriage than anyone else in recent decades. By opposing gay marriage, they encouraged people to view living together as basically the same as marriage. But… it’s not.
If you want to know why I think that, take a listen to this question about the value of marriage from the 17 February 2013 episode of Philosophy in Action Radio. The question asked:
What is the value of marriage? How is it different from living with a romantic partner in a committed relationship? Is marriage only a legal matter? Or does it have some personal or social benefit?
You can listen to or download the relevant segment of the podcast here:
- Duration: 17:47
- Download: MP3 Segment
For more details, check out the question’s archive page. The full episode – where I answered questions on the value of marriage, antibiotic resistance in a free society, concern for attractiveness to others, semi-automatic handguns versus revolvers, and more – is available as a podcast too.