Gay Marriage and Health Benefits Problems and More

A friend who is a lobbyist in Annapolis for LGBT issues pointed out an article in NewsMax Finance. NewsMax Finance is a fairly conservative organization and their article was about Gay Marriage and some probable unintended negative consequences for both gay and straight couples of the Supreme Court ruling making gay marriage legal in all 50 states.

Lost Health Benefits?

Why would it be bad for health benefits. Gay spouses will now be able to visit in the hospital, and have access to benefits that were only available to straight couples before. However, up until now many large companies had health coverage for the domestic partners of unmarried workers. This was for both gay and straight.  Based on surveys of large companies, as many as one fifth of them may no longer cover coverage for unmarried domestic partners.

In the surveys, 93% covered health benefits for same sex partners but only 62% for opposite sex partners as well. This would indicate that 31% of the companies would be likely to drop health benefits for unmarried gay partners. In the survey, 22% of the companies responded that they would be likely to drop health benefits for unmarried partners, both gay and straight, if the Supreme Court came to the decision that they did.

That is for large nationwide companies, but what about smaller companies that are in a region or just a state? In certain areas of the country that are more conservative such as the South, some companies may decide not to offer health benefits at all to straight or gay just so they don’t have to provide benefits to gay couples. Sad but probably true.

International Work more Dangerous

In another offshoot of the Supreme Court decision, it could make working overseas much more dangerous. In countries with anti-gay policies, it will be much more difficult to obscure their status. It is illegal to engage in homosexual acts in 78 countries and that includes Singapore. Up until now some companies just listed gay partners as household staff so as not to bring attention to the relationship. With a marriage license in official records it will be more difficult in these countries. Also, processing health claims through local hospitals is going to be dicey.

US Still Has Issues to Resolve

There are 28 states in the US where you can fire someone over sexual orientation. In these states many people remain in the closet for fear of losing their jobs. Getting married would complicate remaining in the closet. Obviously, this court decision is a beginning, not an end.