Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Monday, January 3, 2011

AZ Grants Domestic Partner Benefits to Same-sex Couples

Today I was speaking to a friend who happens to work for the state of Arizona. He was really excited because the state has decided that it will grant same sex domestic partner benefits to its employees. I was floored. Could the state that seems to be moving the country backwards with regards to race relations be doing the right thing for the LGBT community?

Then the conversation continued and I was floored again. Apparently there are many people that work for the state that are angered by Arizona's new actions. It seems that although this priviledge is being extended to same gender loving couples that work for the state, heterosexual couples will not be allowed to take advantage of this benefit.

So now I'm torn. It this right or wrong? As a gay man who has been in a relationship with my partner for fifteen years I am thrilled to learn that this benefit will do a small part in granting us benefits we are not entitled to because we are not allowed to legally marry. But on the other hand is okay to deny straight couples a similar benefit? They do, afterall, have the ability to "tie the knot" if they really want the benefit.

I don't work for the state so the decision will not affect me one way or the other. I'm fortunate enough to work in the corporate world for an employer to recognizes and values its LGBT employees and really does promote and celebrate diversity. But I have many friends that are employed by Arizona. Some are going to love this new plan. Others are going to lose health care for their significan others because of this decision. So I'm looking for feedback from others, is this the right thing to do?

1 comment:

Susanna I Astarte said...

This is a bonafide pickle.
I still think that we should ALL of us get the same benefits- married or 'domestic partnered'. There are some straight couples that choose not to marry for their own reasons. Does that mean they should not be able to have the same benefits. And of course Gay and lesbian couples in AZ have been second -class citizens for ages. While I do think giving our community the benefits is a step in the right direction, denying these things to straights is NOT kosher. Why would anyone set up such a wacky system ?