Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Connecticut Housekeeping

The partial measure of civil unions in Connecticut highlights the risk in a divided nation. Connecticut has none of the clarity of same-sex marriage. Instead, its citizens and business face the complications of aligning rights and benefits of spouses, domestic partners and civil-union partners.

An analysis on conntact.com covers the major issues thoroughly. Basically:
  • Companies which have extended benefits to unmarried, non-civil-union partners have to revisit their programs and decide whether to require marriage or civil unions, thus stripping some existing benefits.
  • Alternately, they can tee off many employees simultaneously by stopping spousal-type benefits for everyone. (Not gonna happen.)
  • Instead, they can extend benefits to every form of spousal equivalent. (Makes sense, but will cost more for them.)
  • They must be even handed, while recognizing civil unions as equal to marriage for benefits. Otherwise, they are discriminating by law.
Now, anti-gay, anti-civil-union and anti-same-sex marriage folk can scream, "See. We told you this would be chaotic. Repeal!" At the same time, pro-same-sex-marriage groups can say, "Look how clean and easy it is in Massachusetts. Legalize gay marriage!"

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