Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Civil unions not = marriage

Steven Goldstein, chairman of Garden State Equality, posted over at Bluejersey.com that state statistics released today show insurance companies are widely failing to honor New Jersey's same-sex civil unions the same as they do for people under marriage contracts, traditional or same-sex.

In the first month of the civil union law, 20 cases have come our way where employers, hospitals and other institutions have actually told couples, "We don't care that you are civil-unioned -- we will only give you and your partner benefits if you're married."

Make no mistake: This is happening even though it violates the Lewis v. Harris decision and the New Jersey civil unions statute that emerged from it. In fact, two insurance companies have stated they are providing benefits to married same-sex couples in Massachusetts, but not to civil-union couples in New Jersey. Garden State Equality will have more on this in the days ahead.

If you're a same-sex couple whose New Jersey civil union is not being recognized, please call Steven Goldstein, on cell (917) 449-8918, or call our Garden State Equality office at (973) GSE-LGBT.


Anonymous said...

Our health care system/benefits in the good old U.S. is bad enough...lets add one more problem to the mix. Someome needs to go look up the meaning of the word "marriage."

Tony said...

I've been married, so I know the difference between the civil event and "marriage." The couple signs two documents: One is the legal union and the other is the church's marriage document. I respect "marriage" in its religious definition but recognize that not everyone shares the same religion. Some heterosexual couples choose to marry as a civil union without a church/synagogue's marriage document.

Indeed, the founding fathers talked about this, chronicled their discussion and came up with the First Amendment assuring us all freedom to pray or NOT, as we please.

It seems to me to fall into a constitutional right that if a company pays a share of insurance for workers' spouses, it shouldn't be that company's right to rule as to the religious appropriateness of the workers' choice of spouse, as long as the union isn't a fraud to get an unemployed buddy insured. And that kind of fraud could happen equally easily heterosexually; few would lie about being gay just to commit that kind of fraud.

Anonymous said...

koodos to Tony!