Business Trend To Offer Health Benefits To Same-Sex Couples Leaves Feds Behind
Although President Barack Obama's pronouncement last week in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage does not reverse current federal policy which denies health benefits to domestic partners, some advocates hope it will be a "morale boost." And many employers already offer such benefits to attract and retain top workers.
Kaiser Health News: Many Businesses Offer Health Benefits To Same-Sex Couples Ahead Of Laws
President Obama's pronouncement last week in favor of same-sex marriage has no legal effect on employers' decisions on whether to offer benefits to workers' domestic partners, but some advocates believe it could reinforce a decade-long trend toward coverage (Appleby, 5/14).
Politico: Gay Marriage Is One Thing, Benefits Another
President Barack Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage may have given the marriage equality movement a big morale boost. But it won't, on its own, give gay couples equality when it comes to health insurance. The Defense of Marriage Act, which forbids the federal government from recognizing any marriage not between a man and a woman, has hog-tied federal agencies when it comes to liberalizing gay Americans' access to federal government benefits, from collecting their spouse’s Social Security benefits to marriage-related tax breaks (Norman, 5/14).
And in Rhode Island -
The Associated Press: Gov.: RI Recognizing Out-Of-State Gay Marriages
Rhode Island's governor on Monday declared that the state will recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, giving gay couples the same rights as heterosexual ones when it comes to health insurance and a slew of other benefits. The order signed by Gov. Lincoln Chafee in a Statehouse ceremony directs state agencies to recognize marriages performed out of state as legal and treat same-sex married couples the same as heterosexual ones (Niedowski, 5/14).