Some large companies say to gays “You want equality? I’ll give you equality.”
But this much equality may not be what gay rights activists bargained for:
Now that same-sex marriage has been legalized in New York, at least a few large companies are requiring their employees to tie the knot if they want their partners to qualify for health insurance.
Corning, I.B.M. and Raytheon all provide domestic partner benefits to employees with same-sex partners in states where they cannot marry. But now that they can legally wed in New York, five other states and the District of Columbia, they will be required to do so if they want their partner to be covered for a routine checkup or a root canal.
On the surface, this appears to put the couples on an even footing with heterosexual married couples. After all, this is precisely what they have been fighting for: being treated as a spouse.
The companies are allowing a grace period to phase in the policy. They are still in the minority; other companies have not announced any plans to end domestic partner benefits for same sex partners. Query: are there any straight rights activists who are now going to take up the cause of making straight couples equal to gay couples?
[NOTE: And what dental insurance covers the cost of a root canal? I’ve never had dental insurance, but I was under the impression that it usually barely covers an annual checkup and tooth-cleaning.]